Gov. Cuomo Goes Personal With Political Rival

ALBANY (AP/Hamodia) -
Republican State Sen. John DeFrancisco. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

The 2018 campaign is underway and it’s already getting nasty, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s spokesman insulting a GOP challenger’s hair.

Republican Sen. John DeFrancisco formally launched his campaign Tuesday challenging Cuomo’s bid for a third term.

During his announcement, DeFrancisco criticized Gov. Cuomo’s record on upstate economic development, government spending and taxes. He referred to his comment in 2011 praising Mr. Cuomo as a “friend to the taxpayer” but the veteran lawmaker says now that his assessment has shifted as Mr. Cuomo tilted toward the left while his economic promises have failed to materialize. Gov. Cuomo is now “no friend of the taxpayer,” he said Tuesday.

Rich Azzopardi, Cuomo’s taxpayer-paid spokesman, immediately fired back in unusually personal terms.

“That statement is about as real as his hairline,” Azzopardi tweeted in response to DeFrancisco’s remark.

DeFrancisco, who wears a toupe, called the attack the “perfect Cuomo response because when faced with a logical argument he has no logical retort, so he has got to go to a personal type of comment.”

“I know how to play hardball,” DeFrancisco added. “If he wants to throw some pitches at my head, he better duck, too.”