BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Former Erie County Democratic Elections Commissioner Len Lenihan says if he was in former governor Andrew Cuomo’s camp, he would advise Cuomo not to run for office, following Cuomo’s resignation last year over sexual harassment allegations.
“I probably would’ve advised him not to run at all, I think he needs a period of time from what has happened over the last six months,” Lenihan said, “I think Cuomo is dealing with some maybe post-traumatic stress of being basically removed from office.”
Cuomo addressed the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization on Thursday, his second speech this month. Earlier this month, Cuomo spoke at a predominately Black church. Many Black and Hispanic voters have been favorable to the former governor.
Cuomo has not made any announcement about his political future.
In his remarks, Cuomo once again blamed so-called “cancel culture,” for his resignation and affects on his family.
“My family paid the price for them (big media companies) being afraid of cancel culture,” Cuomo said.
He also addressed bail reform. Many members of law enforcement continue to criticize the law for allowing people who are arrested for certain crimes to be released.
“I made changes to bail reform after we passed it and we know today that there are more changes that are necessary,” Cuomo said.
Meantime, Cuomo sounded like a candidate.
“Nothing will happen on this crime pandemic unless the people of this City of New York stand up and force those politicians to act,” he said.
After the speech, Cuomo told reporters on a possible run for governor: “I’m open to all options and I’m going to leave it at that.”
Exclusive polling from News 4, The Hill and Emerson College found Cuomo could run competitively in a Democrat Primary for governor.
In a theoretical Democratic Primary, Cuomo would get 33% of the vote, according to the poll. His successor, Kathy Hochul, the first woman to be governor of New York would get 37% of the vote.
If Cuomo chooses to run for New York Attorney General this year, a job he once had, his path to victory seems difficult based on the poll. Cuomo got the support of 32.5% of Democrats surveyed, while current AG Letitia James got more than 45% of Democrats.
Emerson College surveyed 1,000 voters.
There are two looming key dates to keep in mind, April 7th, that’s the deadline to file petition signatures to get on a major party line. May 31st is the deadline to file as an independent.
Cuomo says he’s not worried.
“The election isn’t until November, so there’s a lot of time to gather petitions depending on how you want to run,” he said.
According to the latest campaign disclosure reports for January, Cuomo had $16 million in campaign funding on hand; of course that number could have changed since then.
Early Voting in the June Primary in New York State begins June 18th.
Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.