ALBANY – While the Legislature was in session the first half of the year, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo repeatedly said he did not want to answer "political" questions about whether he will support his party’s efforts to re-take the state Senate in the fall.
On Tuesday, with lawmakers gone from Albany and already busy campaigning back home, Cuomo declined to make the matter any clearer. "It’s a case-by-case, individual-by-individual determination," Cuomo said of any plans he might have to endorse or help raise money for senators.
"I could see myself endorsing any individual regardless of party label, depending on the positions, depending on the individual," said Cuomo, who is the head of the Democratic Party in New York.
While he has helped raise money for Assembly Democrats, who stand zero chance of losing their commanding majority in the 150-member house, Cuomo has made no such commitments – and declined again Tuesday – for Senate Democrats. "I want to see the best people in the state Senate that we can attract," Cuomo said.
Senate Republicans have been Cuomo’s most reliable ally in Albany the past two legislative sessions, and Republicans including Sen. Mark Grisanti of Buffalo, who changed his mind and ended up backing Cuomo’s same-sex marriage law last year, are openly hoping for a Cuomo endorsement.
Of course, Senate Democrats say Cuomo already made his preference quite clear earlier this year when he signed into law new GOP-drawn district lines for the Senate, including the addition of a new seat to what is now a 62-member chamber to help bolster Republican chances at keeping the Senate this fall.
-- Tom Precious