Cuomo 'weighing options' ahead of deadline to get on NY ballot

Candidates who wish to run in New York's Democratic primary have until Thursday, April 7, 2022, to submit 15,000 signatures in order to appear on the ballot by June. Gov. Kathy Hochul was nominated by the party earlier this year; so she will automatically appear on the ballot. Campaign spokespeople for Democratic candidates Rep. Tom Suozzi and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams say both will have enough signatures by the deadline.

But with less than 48 hours to go, will former Gov. Andrew Cuomo make a last-ditch effort?

"He could get enough signatures but is he going to? That is the real question and that's likely no," New York Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf said.

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Cuomo resigned in August after facing numerous scandals involving sexual harassment, undercounting of COVID nursing home deaths, and more. He is still weighing another possible run for governor. A spokesperson for the former governor said that Cuomo is "continuing to weigh all his options."

If Cuomo decides to run as an independent candidate he has more time, until May 31, to collect signatures. But his chances in a general election get worse.

"The last time we had a statewide candidate elected from a non-major party line was when I think James Buckley got elected to the United State Senate and that was a couple of generations ago," Sheinkopf said.

But Cuomo has signaled that he would rather run as an independent candidate and create a new party line, something he did before in 2014 when he created the Women's Equality Party. However, when Cuomo was governor, he made it much more difficult for third parties to keep their ballot line, after the Working Families Party endorsed Cynthia Nixon over him in the 2018 Democratic primary. Yet he may have found a friend in State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs who is rumored to be thinking of also starting a third party line for incumbent Democrats in swing districts.

Working Families Party Deputy Director Sharon Cromwell said she has seen these tactics before.

"Honestly, this just looks like Jay Jacobs continuing the work of Andrew Cuomo and then trying to attack the Working Families Party, despite the fact that we were instrumental in helping to flip the state Senate blue," Cromwell said. "Creating another party line is short-sighted and it's actually just going to alienate the multiracial, young, progressive base of voters that are part of the Working Families Party."

Now if Cuomo were to run as an independent candidate he would have more time but he also would have to collect more than double the signatures.

The most recent poll has Cuomo coming in second but only 8 points behind Hochul in a hypothetical matchup. 

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