Lawsuit might allow Cuomo back into NY Governor race

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Here’s a name that I foolishly thought we had seen the last of in American politics. Disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has crept back into the headlines this week. It’s being suggested that Cuomo could potentially wind up on the ballot for the Democratic primary this year and challenge Governor Kathy Hochul for a shot at getting his old job back. But Cuomo isn’t the one seeking a legal path to do this. An appellate court is currently considering a lawsuit seeking to reopen the period to file petitions for a spot on the ballot for all offices and submit signatures. It’s all because of the debacle caused by New York’s gerrymandered redistricting maps, which led to some primary elections being pushed back to August. If the judge approves the request, anyone, including Cuomo, could have another opportunity to qualify. (NY Post)

Disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo could get another crack at getting on the ballot to take on his former No. 2 and successor, Gov. Kathy Hochul in the Democratic primary, The Post has learned.

A plaintiff seeking to intervene in the Albany redistricting case is asking the judge to reopen the petitioning period for statewide primary elections — opening the door for a potential Cuomo reemergence.

Political gadfly Gary Greenberg filed papers to intervene in the case, which urges Steuben County state Supreme Court Judge Patrick McAllister to redo the Assembly lines as well as the so-called Democratic-drawn congressional “Hochulmander” — which was tossed out for illegally partisan gerrymandering — in addition to Senate maps invalidated for procedural reasons.

We still haven’t heard a peep about this from Cuomo or any of his remaining spokespeople, though it’s worth noting that he’s still sitting on a massive war chest of campaign cash that he’s shown no interest in refunding or transferring to any of his fellow Democrats. Perhaps they are simply waiting to see how the judge rules in the lawsuit.

At issue is the fact that the redistricting maps for both congressional and state senate districts won’t be out until later this month. As a result, the primaries for those races were pushed back to late August because challengers and incumbents don’t even know where they will be running yet. Statewide races, including for governor, were not affected by this, so their primaries are currently still scheduled for next month. Those primaries are closed to any additional candidates.

But if the judge goes along with this lawsuit, all of the primaries would be moved to August, including the governor’s race. An extension would be granted so additional candidates would have a window of opportunity to gather signatures and submit them to qualify for a place on the primary ballot. That would, in theory, include Cuomo since he was never convicted of any crime that would bar him from holding office again. And he still has a large political operation that should allow him to quickly gather the required signatures.

But would he really do it? Yes, he’s been running some advertisements attempting to rehabilitate his reputation, but the public must have gotten the message by now. You rarely see a news item involving him that doesn’t include the phrase, “disgraced former governor.” He would have to seriously believe that his party is ready to forgive and forget a great many things to try this. And the optics of him trying to knock a sitting female governor off the ballot with his personal “history” with women would be simply awful. But we’ll know soon enough. A ruling in the lawsuit is expected to be handed down shortly.