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State Republican chairman Ed Cox wrote to party leaders Tuesday urging them not to endorse Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, underscoring the Democrat incumbent’s strong position heading into this election year and the GOP’s long odds at unseating him.
Cox said Republicans should “resist” Cuomo’s “well-known, strong-arm tactics.” He also said Democrats are scouting for Republicans to reach across party lines to endorse Cuomo.
"I'm writing today because I know that the Cuomo administration is reaching out for your support,” Cox wrote. “As state party chairman, I ask that before you make any decision, you consider the abysmal record of the Cuomo administration.”
Sounding like a script Republicans will use during the election, Cox goes on to note Cuomo’s tax hike on those earning $1 million or more annually, his initial reluctance to eliminate a utility surcharge and his indecision on natural-gas drilling.
Cox called a new gun-control law that Cuomo rushed through one month after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre “a cynical political maneuver to become the first executive in America to pass gun control in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.”
“The Cuomo administration is well known for their heavy-handed tactics in winning support,” Cox closes, “but for the sake of New York's future, I hope I can count on Republicans such as yourself to be strong and to live up to our Republican convictions.”
The Cuomo administration declined to comment.
A Siena College poll in November showed Cuomo's job approval rating at its lowest ever, 44 percent. But it also showed Cuomo at least 37 percentage points ahead of any potential Republican challenger mentioned to date.