New York’s last Republican governor thinks 2022 could be the year his party reclaims control of the state’s executive mansion, especially if former Gov. Andrew Cuomo declares his candidacy.
Former Governor George Pataki, who held the position from 1995 to 2006, predicted that an independent run from Cuomo would “be the best thing that ever happened to the state, because he’d get crushed and, in the process, almost guarantee a Republican victory.”
“I just pray that Andrew Cuomo decides to jump in the race,” he said on WABC 770 AM Sunday morning.
Pataki has predicted that Cuomo, who is “the most unpopular political figure in New York state,” would decide against entering a race where he would be “embarrassed horribly” by attracting only the support of “hardcore partisan Democrats.”
Even without Cuomo throwing his hat in the ring and siphoning off support from Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has the institutional backing of the state’s Democratic Party, Republicans have a rare chance for victory in New York according to Pataki.
“We have a state heading in the wrong direction and a governor who is vulnerable on the record she’s had so far. The third piece you need is a good Republican candidate, and we have a number of people out there… For the first time, we have incredible candidates running in a primary, any one of whom I think could win the general,” he continued.
Rep. Lee Zeldin, former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, former special assistant to the president Andrew Giuliani, and businessman Harry Wilson have all declared their candidacy for the GOP nomination.
Cuomo resigned as a result of pressure from within his own party following a report on August 3, 2021 from the state’s attorney general concluding he had sexually harassed at least 11 women. Former Governor Cuomo has denied all claims of wrongdoing and has been critical of his successor. He has also signaled he could make a political comeback and challenge Hochul.
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