Minutes before he was nominated Wednesday for a second term by Democratic convention goers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he was picking former Rep. Kathy Hochul (HOE-kuhl) of Buffalo as his choice to be New York’s next lieutenant governor.
Hochul, who was elected to the House in 2011 and served one term before losing a reelection bid, is now an M&T Bank vice president. Cuomo said Hochul knows government and business and brings added perspective as a western New York resident and this year’s only female statewide candidate from a major party. Current Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy is not seeking another term.
Hochul, sitting next to Cuomo in an announcement video played to convention delegates, said she doesn’t “want to be on the sidelines for what the future holds.”
This fall they face Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, and his running mate, Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss. Multiple polls suggest Cuomo is well ahead but could see some support siphoned off if a liberal candidate were to run.
The convention got underway Wednesday morning, touting issues that Cuomo has championed as governor, including his most controversial. The father of a 7-year-old boy killed at the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., praised New York’s new gun control laws. Mark Barden’s son Daniel was among 20 students and six educators killed.
Cuomo was accused of muscling the law through Albany; Astorino wants it repealed.
Afterward, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli was nominated for a second term. He faces Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci. Polls give DiNapoli the lead but many voters don’t know him enough to form an opinion about his tenure.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was also nominated for a second term. The most vulnerable of the three statewide elected officials, he faces John Cahill, a former top aide to former Gov. George Pataki.
The details of the convention schedule for Thursday, when Cuomo will formally accept the nomination, haven’t been announced, fueling speculation about the identity of any invited speakers. President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Cooperstown, N.Y., that day. Both former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton have been mentioned as possibilities.