ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has released another new TV ad that looks like a campaign commercial. Political speaking to NEWS10’s Buffalo sister station that, at this point, it’s hard to tell whether he’s trying to repair his image or preparing to run for office.
“Maybe he’s not going to run this year,” said Shawn Donahue, a UB political science professor. “Maybe he is just looking at rehabilitating his image for maybe another future run at some other office.”
Cuomo resigned last August after facing several allegations of sexual harassment. He’s now re-emerging in the public eye. “If the governor is thinking about potentially running for statewide office, this would be the opportune time to be putting out some things to let people know that that’s what he’s thinking about doing,” Donahue said.
“He’s not the sort of person to retire. He’s not the sort of person to sit around and go work at a law firm, or an investment brokerage,” said political analyst Jack O’Donnell. “I think Andrew Cuomo is doing what he’s always done: politics.”
A recent poll by NEWS10’s parent company found Cuomo would only be a few points behind Gov. Kathy Hochul should he run in the Democratic primary. “That’s a little higher than I thought. Andrew Cuomo does well in that poll,” O’Donnell said. “Even in that poll, though, there’s 60% of Democratic voters who want to support someone else.”
“There have been some polls that have come out measuring democratic primary party support,” said Congressman Lee Zeldin. “Cuomo does have some support inside the democratic primary party, that’s true, but when you go outside the democratic party, it falls fast.”
Zeldin, who is running for governor on the Republican line, said that if Cuomo throws his hat in the race, it could only benefit Zeldin himself. “He’s pulling support from Kathy Hochul. He’s not pulling support from us,” he told NEWS10’s Buffalo affiliate. “We feel very good about our strategy—our pathway to victory—if we are only running against Kathy Hochul. But if Andrew Cuomo gets in the race, that only helps increase the margin that we will win November 8.”
If Cuomo is petitioning to run for governor, or any other seat in office as a democrat, he has until April 7 to file. If he runs as an independent he has until May 31. Cuomo’s spokespeople did not return questions about his campaign status.