Hochul withholds endorsements in Democratic primaries

Governor ⁣Kathy Hochul of New York has ​chosen to ⁣remain neutral and refrain from endorsing candidates during this Democratic primary season. Unlike her predecessor, ​Andrew Cuomo, who was known⁢ for his active participation in endorsing candidates, Hochul has not publicly supported any candidates amidst criticisms ⁤over her approach to congestion pricing. Notably, she attended ⁢a fundraiser for New ‌York State Assembly candidate Micah Lasher, who previously ⁣worked as a director⁣ of policy under her, indicating her subtle involvement. The fundraising event ​happened around the time‌ of her meeting with ⁣U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Joe Donnelly, in Vatican​ City on May⁢ 15, 2024.

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) has decided not to pick sides publicly this Democratic primary season.

The governor has not yet made endorsements in Democratic primaries as she faces widespread criticism on congestion pricing. Her stance has differed from that of her predecessor, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who didn’t hesitate to offer endorsements.

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) meets with U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Joe Donnelly on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Vatican City. (Pablo Esparza/AP Content Services for OGS)

Hochul appeared at a fundraiser for New York State Assembly candidate Micah Lasher, a former director of policy for her, in his battle against Eli Northrup. Northrup was endorsed by the departing Democratic incumbent.

She also appeared at a fundraiser for Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D-NJ) wife, Tammy, who ran for Senate in her home state before later dropping out. Hochul endorsed neither Tammy nor Lasher.

Hochul’s lack of endorsements could be attributed to her lackluster approval ratings and a desire to avoid making enemies. She also may want to avoid unnecessary attention after she headlined a lackluster performance for Democrats in 2022.

One race that Hochul could influence if she had decided to offer her endorsement is the New York 16th Congressional District Democratic primary between George Latimer and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY). That race has been hotly contested and has been a notable example of infighting within the party between progressives and centrists.

“I think it’s smart policy because she is the governor,” Lupe Todd-Medina, a Democratic consultant who worked on Hochul’s reelection campaign, told Politico. “You really want to only endorse when it’s the Democrat versus the Republican.”


The Washington Examiner contacted the governor’s office but did not receive a response.

“As the leader of the New York Democratic Party, Governor Hochul is focused on defeating MAGA Republicans and ensuring Democrats win up and down the ballot in November,” Hochul’s campaign spokeswoman, Jen Goodman, told the outlet.

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