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New York Democrats to huddle on Cuomo's fate

New York Democrats to huddle on Cuomo's fate
© getty: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)

New York Democrats will huddle Thursday to discuss Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoMorgan Stanley CEO urges workers to return to office: 'If you want to get paid New York rates, you work in New York' The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters Puerto Rico's former governor stages a comeback MORE’s fate as growing allegations of sexual harassment throw the Democratic governor's political future into jeopardy.

State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) said in a statement that “In light of the allegations concerning the Governor over the last several weeks,” he is convening Democratic members of the chamber to discuss “potential paths forward.”

The meeting is the latest indication that New York Democrats feel the current crises embroiling the Cuomo administration are untenable. Besides the harassment allegations, which have now come from six women, Cuomo is also facing bipartisan rebukes over the revelation that his office undercounted the number of nursing home residents who died from the coronavirus. 

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The sexual harassment scandal surrounding Cuomo escalated Thursday after it was revealed that the claim of a former aide saying that Cuomo groped her at the Executive Mansion last year was referred to police in Albany.

Pressure on Cuomo from his party has steadily ramped up as the accusations against him build. After the groping allegation was first made Wednesday, more than 55 Democratic members of the New York State Assembly signed a letter on Thursday calling on him to resign. New York Attorney General Letitia James, another Democrat, is also mounting an independent investigation into the claims.

Cuomo has apologized for making any of the women who have come forward feel uncomfortable but has denied that he touched anyone inappropriately — remarks that have done little to quell the firestorm surrounding him. 

“In light of the Governor’s admission of inappropriate behavior and the findings of altered data on nursing home COVID-19 deaths he has lost the confidence of the public and the state legislature, rendering him ineffective in this time of most urgent need,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote Thursday. “We have a Lieutenant Governor who can step in and lead for the remainder of the term, and this is what is best for New Yorkers in this critical time. It is time for Governor Cuomo to resign.” 

It is still unclear how far Democrats would go to punish Cuomo. While dozens of party members in state Assembly have called on him to resign, only seven have advocated for his impeachment.

Cuomo has so far refused to leave office, but he has also remained mum on any potential plans to run for an unprecedented fourth term next year. Before the dual scandals broke out, Cuomo was rumored as having presidential ambitions, though that talk has been largely supplanted by speculation over whether he’d finish his current term.

“Some politicians will always play politics. That’s the nature of the beast. I don’t think today is a day for politics,” Cuomo said at a press conference last week. “I wasn’t elected by politicians, I was elected by the people of the state of New York. I’m not going to resign. I work for the people of the state of New York, they elected me, and I’m going to serve the people of the state of New York.”