Cuomo seeks 3rd term as GOP foe looks for last-minute boost
ALBANY— Democrat Andrew Cuomo aims to win a third term Tuesday as governor, while his Republican challenger, Marc Molinaro, hopes a late surge of support will help him beat the odds in a state where Democrats heavily outnumber members of the GOP.
Cuomo has led in the polls and in fundraising throughout the contest with the lesser-known Molinaro, the executive of Dutchess County. A final survey released this week by Siena College indicated there has been some tightening in the race.
The incumbent has campaigned on his successful efforts to raise the minimum wage, strengthen gun control laws, pass same-sex marriage, and overhaul aging airports and bridges. He has also tried to make the race about Republican President Donald Trump, arguing that he will fight Trump and other Washington Republicans while dismissing his rival as a “Trump Mini-me.”
“What they are trying to do is literally against everything we believe in this state and not just as Democrats, but Republicans and independents also,” Cuomo said at a get-out-the-vote rally in Westchester County on Sunday. “We’re going to have a bigger day on Election Day than anyone anticipates because they think it’s just Democrats that are fired up. It’s not just Democrats, it’s any New Yorker who believes in basic New York values.”
Molinaro has played up his moderate views, noting that he did not vote for Trump. He has faulted Cuomo for failing to tackle political corruption in Albany, fix New York City’s beleaguered subway system or improve the upstate economy. His campaign seized on Sunday’s Siena poll, which showed Cuomo with a lead of 13 percentage points, compared with a 22-point difference last month.
“We woke up and the earth shook a little bit,” Molinaro said at a rally Sunday. “We’re fighting hard.”
Also running in the race are Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins, Libertarian Larry Sharpe and independent Stephanie Miner, the former mayor of Syracuse.
If Cuomo prevails, he’ll join a short list of governors elected to a third term in New York that includes Nelson Rockefeller, George Pataki and his own father, the late Mario Cuomo. He had been considered a likely presidential contender in 2020 until he vowed this year to serve an entire four years if re-elected.