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Cuomo selects ex-Buffalo-area congresswoman as running mate

Kathy Hochul, a former congresswoman from the Buffalo

Kathy Hochul, a former congresswoman from the Buffalo area, has been nominated to be the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor. This photo is from May 9, 2011. (Credit: AP / David Duprey)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo selected Kathy Hochul, a former  Buffalo-area congresswoman, to run for lieutenant governor Wednesday, signaling the Democrat is still concerned with improving his showing with upstate voters.

Cuomo made the announcement in a video address to delegates to the Democrat convention at the Huntington Hilton in Melville.

Cuomo said the former congresswoman “knows the needs of upstate New York, knows Western New York and the particular needs of Western New York.”

The governor easily won election in 2010, garnering about 62.6 percent of the vote. But he lost 11 upstate counties, mostly around Buffalo. Rob Astorino, Cuomo's Republican foe, also selected an upstate running mate: Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss, the first African-American on the GOP statewide ticket.

Hochul long had been considered a leading replacement for Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, who won’t run for re-election.

 "I am proud to join the governor as a voice for the communities of upstate New York,” Hochul said, also on the video announcement.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone had been among a handful of Democrats considered as Cuomo running mates.

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