NY Democratic Party chair endorses Hochul bid for governor

NY Democratic Party chair endorses Hochul bid for governor

Jay Jacobs, the chair of the New York Democratic Party, on Monday endorsed Gov. Kathy HochulKathy HochulThese are the states where the omicron variant has been identified Omicron coronavirus variant found in at least 10 states Five omicron cases detected in New York MORE’s (D) 2022 gubernatorial bid as chances increase of a brawl for the party's nomination.

“We have a governor that has proven she can do the job and do it with distinction. We have a governor who by any measure has earned our support. Accordingly, it is my pleasure to endorse Gov. Kathy Hochul,” Jacobs said at a press conference Monday.

The endorsement for Hochul, a marked boost for a new executive who took over the governorship in August after the resignation of Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCuomo's firing from CNN came amid allegation of sexual misconduct: report Chris Cuomo: 'This is not how I want my time at CNN to end' Chris Cuomo terminated by CNN over efforts to help brother MORE, comes amid speculation that she could face primary challengers next year when she runs for a full term.

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New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a favorite of progressives in downstate New York, has launched an exploratory committee to decide whether to run for the governor’s mansion next year. New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is also said to be testing the waters for a possible run of her own after she saw her star rise after issuing a damning report detailing sexual harassment and misconduct by Cuomo.

The endorsement could help Hochul consolidate establishment support, though Williams and James would certainly bring their own power bases to a primary battle. 

Jacobs said he did not think his endorsement would discourage others from making their own runs but said the announcement would free him up to aid Hochul. 

Jacobs hinted that he thinks boosting Hochul could be a key step in keeping the governor’s mansion in Democratic hands. While speculation arose that the race could be intensely competitive if Cuomo had remained in office, Rep. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinRudy Giuliani becomes grandfather after son welcomes child Rep. Suozzi to run for New York governor House GOP seek to block Biden from reopening Palestinian mission in Jerusalem MORE (R-N.Y.) and Andrew Giuliani are still pushing ahead with their gubernatorial campaigns after Cuomo’s resignation

“I’m … not so arrogant as to assume that anyone will follow me or that any candidate who is currently considering a run will change course at this time,” Jacobs said. “I believe, however, that by making this endorsement, as a leader I will now be free to do what I can and should do to ensure that we keep our party united.” 

“I know the 2022 election will be a tough election,” he added. “I take nothing for granted, and those who say a Republican who cannot get elected governor or statewide in New York, I think are foolish. It is certainly something that we have to consider, and I believe that a party torn apart by multiple candidates in multiple primaries for multiple offices will exhaust precious resources, divide us and make us weaker in a year that we need to be at our strongest.”