Gov. Hochul, floating above fray, aims for history in New York governor’s race – New York Greeley Tribune

This is the final story in a three-part series examining the leading candidates in New York’s Democratic primary for governor. First time on Williams, maybe read here, Second on Tom Suozzi, Maybe Read here. Primary day is June 28.

His answer came with a vehement approval.

In the first live TV interview of Kathy Hochul, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced her resignation last August, paving the way for her to succeed, asking if she intended to run to retain office. .

“Yes I will,” Hochul, then lieutenant governor told NBC, “I have lived working in every level of government, from Congress to local government. I am the most prepared person to handle this responsibility. And I’m going to ask voters to trust me again at some point.”

The time has come.

Hochul is set to face voters in this month’s Democratic primary, after 10 months marked by public health and safety challenges, hoping his leadership through the long COVID winter will win over New Yorkers, and soon This will make her the first woman elected governor of the state. ,

The primary doesn’t look close. A liberal former congressman from Buffalo, 63-year-old Hochul has consolidated institutional support, loaded a massive campaign war chest and gained a sweeping lead in polls conducted by rare surveyors who have even more than rated the campaign. Has hesitated.

The governor has occasionally floated above the ground as two long-shot challengers — Rep. Tom Suozzi and public advocate Jumane Williams – ripped off the rising crime and support they received from the National Rifle Association a decade ago.

In advertisementsHochul hardly addresses the primary, instead highlighting the historical nature of her run and presenting Andrew Giuliani and Lee Zeldin, two anti-abortion candidates running in the Republican primary, as threats to the reproductive rights of New Yorkers. Is.

Hochul was the only candidate whose campaign declined an interview for the series, and he skipped the first televised debate of the Democratic race.

In the second, held on June 7, it brushed off negative attack lines, sidestepping criticism and receiving praise. press for his performance. Third, on Thursday, had a slightly higher lead, but Hochul appeared in command again, ignoring Suozhi at one point. as he begged her to see his way.

A veteran of local government who served for more than a decade on the town board in upstate Hamburg, Hochul managed to bridge various factions within the diverse Democratic electorate during his brief tenure as governor.

His candidacy is supported by Mayor Adams, Organized Labor and the state Democratic Party. Many progressives have been satisfied, if not always thrilled, with their performance.

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“He considered the electorate to be an iron triangle, within which the overwhelming majority of primary voters are found,” said Bruce Goyrie, a political strategist who advised two former Democratic governors Eliot Spitzer and David Patterson.

“That base is minority voters. There are highly educated professional women, with an angle or side, if you wish. There are white ethnicities on the other side,” Gyori said. “She was able to establish a good relationship with each side of this iron triangle.”

Hochul has also been lucky. State Attorney General Letitia James, seen as the most serious threat to Hochul, abruptly ended her 41-day campaign for governor in December, saying she wanted to focus her office’s investigation. Huh.

James is seen as a formidable politician with a formidable power base in his native town of Brooklyn. But his campaign got off to a bad start as Hochul began raising funds at a furious pace.

By January, Hochul’s campaign had raised a record-breaking $21.3 million war chest. At the end of May, she still had $18.6 million in campaign cash, dwarfing the coffers of her top two Democratic contestants, according to the state’s election board.

According to state records, Suozzi, a Long Island centrist, and Williams, a Brooklyn progressive, have less than $3 million on hand.

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Hochul has long been known for a tireless work ethic. But John LaFles, a former Buffalo area congressman who became Hochul’s political mentor after being hired as an aide in the 1980s, expressed surprise at the enthusiasm with which he has done fundraising.

“I didn’t know about the fundraising potential,” LaFles said. “Even when she was lieutenant governor, she raised money – but modestly. But since she has been governor, she has proven herself to be a prodigious fundraiser.”

Still, campaign cash is hardly the only engine that has propelled Hochul to prohibitive leadership.

hochulu had many victories – and scattered losses – during his first legislative session, and is widely seen as a stylistic departure from Cuomo, who wowed Albany with his overbearing approach.

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“It’s been incredibly refreshing and inspiring,” said Sen. Brad Hoyleman, a Manhattan Democrat, who really wants to fix this, even as he acknowledged that Hochul’s administration had a difficult time in budget negotiations. Struggled at times with the learning curve.

Hoyleman said Cuomo used “legislative bullying” and was “very stingy” about sharing tactics with lawmakers. “Government Hochul’s approach is much more cooperative and honest,” he said. “Confidence I think is building up.”

Hochul reached an agreement with lawmakers to change New York’s controversial 2019 bail reform law, Adams’ priority; devised a plan to replace the state’s much-discredited ethics watchdog; And drove a package of tough gun bills through the legislature.

And she proved a steady voice of leadership, steering New York through the Omicron COVID wave in the winter, and confidently responding to Hurricane Ida last summer and the racist massacre in her hometown of Buffalo this spring.

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Yet his tenure has not been flawless. His decision to remove Brian Benjamin from the state Senate to serve as his lieutenant governor reversed spectacularly when he was arrested and charged in a federal corruption investigation. (He resigned shortly after his April arrest, and denied the allegations.)

His deal to fund $600 million in state funds for a new Buffalo Bills stadium has proved unpopular across the state. (Hochul has defended this as a long-term economic victory that would provide the state with thousands of jobs.)

And her fundraising has raised concerns in some corners that she could end up pocketing money interests, from cryptocurrency to real estate.

“New York State is a very expensive media market, and I have to raise it to get the message out,” she said in an interview with the editorial board of the Greeley Tribune. “People want to give me. All supporters, clergy, labor unions, businesses, elected officials are welcome to join them.”

Despite his critics, Hochul has not taken any wrongdoing that has seriously damaged his electoral ability. An Emerson College survey of race was conducted this month She led Suzy by 40 percentage points and Williams by 51.

Other public and internal surveys have also shown Hochul to be far ahead. If she persists, she will enter a general election seen as the favorite to win in deep blue New York and become the first female elected governor in the state since George Clinton’s inauguration in 1777.

“It takes a lot of weight on my shoulders to make sure I can demonstrate that a woman can do this difficult job,” Hochul told the editorial board. “I have a lot to prove. And I intend to do so.”

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