The End of Cuomo’s War With New York City?

by Jan Frazier

Albany, New York (Washington Insider Magazine) –  It seems crazy and unthinkable now, but there was a time seven years ago ”when the governor of New York and the Mayor of New York City seemed like buddies.” This is not a true statement any longer. Even though New York City is America’s biggest city, they rely on the lawmakers in the state capitol to run not only New York City but also the state.

New York City was still recovering from the damage of Superstorm Sandy in 2014. Governor Andrew Cuomo talked about upcoming challenges in his autobiography – which was released in 2014 — and he commented on the next disaster that could hit New York: “Fortunately, my longtime friend and former HUD colleague Bill de Blasio is now mayor of New York, and being able to work cooperatively will be a major asset.” The cooperation between Cuomo and de Blasio was very short lived. 

De Blasio will soon be out of the mayoral office, and now there are questions as to how Cuomo – a rather combative person – will deal with the new mayor. We have to remember that Cuomo is still under investigation for sex crimes and may still face impeachment. 

At the moment, Eric Adams is in the lead in the Democratic primary for mayor. If Adams should win, “he would be the first New York City mayor with significant experience as a state legislator since Robert F. Wagner.”

Adams was in the state senate for eight years. Cuomo’s first two years as governor lines up with Adams’ eight years as state senator. The fact that they knew each other in the past may prove to be helpful in their relationship now.

Adams’ campaign adviser, Evan Thies, said in a recent interview that Adams has had a good relationship with Cuomo and that more New York City state officials actually are supporting Adams than other candidates. Thies added, “That’s partially because he was a colleague of theirs for so long.”

Cuomo and de Blasio both tell New Yorkers all the time that the “institutional relationship between governor and mayor suggests it was designed not by political theorists, but the fireworks-making Grucci family.” In actuality, New York City “relies on the people who run its state capitol to get anything done.” Many of the most important policies of New York City “require the blessing of elected officials from as far away as Niagara Falls.” Thus, the elected people in the state capitol are essential in running the state.

Freddi Goldstein, a former top aide to de Blasio, said, “Obviously the best outcome for New Yorkers is that the mayor and the governor get along. But there’s very little historical precedent for that….this governor is not really working for friends. And I just don’t see that dynamic changing.”


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