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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday told Sen. Roy McDonald, a Republican felled by the gay marriage vote, he’ll support him if McDonald decides to run in November on a third-party ticket.
McDonald (R-Saratoga) was one of four Republicans who voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage when the Senate passed it, 33-29, in 2011. With conservative activists targeting him, McDonald lost a GOP primary to Saratoga County Clerk Kathleen Marchione in a close race that wasn’t decided until Tuesday.
McDonald could stay in the race – he has the endorsement of the Independence Party. Republicans are trying to encourage him to drop out in the name of unity.
Cuomo penned a letter to McDonald, praising him for standing up “for your principles.” And the governor said that he’d endorse McDonald if he stays in the race, though Cuomo noted it’s tough for a third-party candidate to win.
“It is now evident that you paid a political price for your convictions. You should not stand alone now,” Cuomo wrote.
“I don’t know if an (Independence) candidacy would be successful on Election Day, or even if it is viable,” the governor continued, “but if you decide to go forward with your campaign you will have my full endorsement.”
Ironically, the Democrat in the race, Robin Andrews, married her longtime partner in a ceremony made possible by McDonald’s same-sex marriage vote.