New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was nominated to run for a second term at the state Democratic convention Thursday in Long Island, along with his freshly chosen running mate, former Western New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul.
Governor Cuomo was nominated by a diverse group ranging from former President Clinton, Harry Belafonte, and union leaders, all via video, and ending with an endorsement by his daughters.
Cuomo, speaking to a packed and excited hall of delegates, recounted his accomplishments, including passing same-sex marriage, rebuilding the Tappan Zee Bridge, and capping property taxes.
“My friends, we did what we said we were going to do, New York is on the move and we ain’t going back,” Cuomo said, to cheers.
Cuomo painted his GOP opponent, Rob Astorino, who he did not mention by name, as a backward thinking extremist.
“They believe that if you grant other people’s rights, it diminishes their rights,” Cuomo said. “We believe that when you grant other people rights, it enhances our own rights.”
And he says he needs four more years to achieve more goals, including better preparedness for super storms, helping more African American and Latino children go to college, and to cut property taxes. He says he also wants to achieve three major unfinished progressive goals: the Dream Act, to give children of undocumented immigrants college aid, the women’s equality act, which contains an abortion rights provision, and public campaign finance. Cuomo blamed Republicans in the Senate, who he says have “so far has failed to deliver.”
“We need to complete our social reform agenda,” he said. “And we will.”
At the same time, Cuomo praised Republicans, saying they enabled him to “reach across the aisle” and end government gridlock on the budget.
Cuomo’s running mate, former Western New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul, praised the governor for delivering on promises to help economically distressed Buffalo. Hochul lashed out at her GOP opponents, saying they are against Cuomo’s Start-Up program that offers a tax-free program to new businesses, and for opposing the monetary grant to the region known as the “Buffalo Billion.” She said the money is “sacred,” and compared it to the Buffalo Bills, the Sabres, and chicken wings.
“Next, what is he going to call for, the elimination of the chicken wing?” Hochul said. “Come on, you can’t touch that.”
The governor was next headed to Cooperstown, to join President Obama for an event highlighting tourism.