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With 2020 on the Mind, Cuomo Suddenly Cares About Down-Ballot Races

New York Democrats were largely skeptical of Cuomo’s intentions…

Andrew Cuomo 2020

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is making a push to win “competitive seats in New York,” and is launching a campaign with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to do just that.

Cuomo’s decision to launch “New York Fights Back” alongside Pelosi is a curious one, considering she has failed to win the majority in the House in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016.

Adding to the head-scratching narrative was the location of the announcement: the Jacob Javits Center, where Hillary Clinton held her gloomy election night rally in November 2016.

Following Cuomo’s down-ballot announcement, the most notable reactions were from New York Democrats openly questioning where Cuomo has been for the past several years.

Politico noted that Cuomo is actually “better known until now for failing to help his fellow Democrats’ efforts in the federal House or New York state Senate.”

“Many were disappointed that the governor hasn’t shown any real support for electing members of the House,” said Bill Lipton, executive director of the left-leaning Working Families Party and a veteran campaign operative.

“I presume this is just more posturing about how we’re going to turn New York blue,” the source said. “If he wanted Democratic congressional seats, he could have done something during redistricting. He laid down totally on that.”

The criticism of Cuomo goes back years, with former DCCC Chair Steve Israel blasting the governor in 2014: “I have no comment on Governor Cuomo’s effect on this election. Quote me on that. We had conversations several months ago with the governor’s staff about helping to organize and coordinate a campaign and I didn’t see the fruition to those conversations.”

Israel backtracked on those comments recently, calling Cuomo “very helpful,” but given the skepticism from so many other New York Democrats, it seems most are seeing the governor’s latest move for what it is – a stepping stone toward an eventual presidential run in 2020.