Judge Declines To Block Dems From Aiding Cuomo

ALBANY (AP) -

A legal move by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s liberal challenger fell flat Friday while the governor and his running mate announced the support of Hillary Clinton and dozens of other Democrats ahead of next week’s primary.

A Manhattan judge declined a request by Zephyr Teachout and her running mate Tim Wu to stop Cuomo’s campaign from working with the Democratic Party ahead of Tuesday’s vote. Teachout, a Fordham University professor, and Wu, a Columbia University professor, sued Cuomo and the party Friday, alleging that they broke campaign finance laws by using the party to pay for Cuomo’s campaign mailings.

Cuomo’s campaign noted that such coordination is allowed under a 2006 court ruling and dismissed the lawsuit as a last-minute grab for attention.

“I thought they were law professors, but now I understand why they’re looking for new jobs,” Cuomo campaign spokesman Matt Wing said.

Earlier Friday, Cuomo’s campaign announced endorsements from more than 70 Democratic officials in the state, including members of Congress and the mayors of Buffalo, Albany, Syracuse and Rochester.

Clinton voiced her support in a recorded telephone message sent to Democratic voters designed to boost Cuomo’s running mate, former Buffalo congresswoman Kathy Hochul.

“As a New Yorker, I’d be proud to have Kathy fighting for our state,” Clinton said in the recorded endorsement. “… As our lieutenant governor, she’ll never, ever give up on New York’s families.”

Cuomo and Hochul had already been endorsed by former President Bill Clinton.

The endorsements show how seriously Cuomo and Hochul are taking the primary challenge, despite polls that suggest Teachout is not well known to voters. Her campaign has attempted to harness liberal discontent with Cuomo’s support for charter schools and business-friendly tax policies.