Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

TROY - Andrew Cuomo, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, said today he has chosen a lieutenant-governor running mate but declined to identify the individual.

"There's nothing I want to say today on the lieutenant governor," Cuomo said here after being endorsed by state Independence Party leaders.

Asked what he was looking for in a running mate, Cuomo said, "Someone who could be governor of the State of New York if something would happen."

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He also said the person should have "manifested competence, performance and integrity" in their current job. He refused to say whether his choice is an elected official.

The state Democratic Convention begins today and the lieutenant governor nomination is expected on Wednesday.

Among the frequently mentioned candidates are Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers, Rennsslaer Polytechnic Institute president Shirley Ann Jackson, former federal prosecutor Denise O'Donnell of Buffalo and Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy.

The declared candidates are Christopher St. Lawrence, supervisor of Ramapo Town in Rockland County, and Democratic fundraiser Bill Samuels.

Cuomo met this morning with Independence Party leaders at a Troy hotel. He and they emerged to announce the endorsement.

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Independence Party chairman Frank MacKay said Cuomo's "New NY Agenda" dovetails with the party's platform. He added the Independence line is a "safe place for Republicans to vote for Cuomo."

MacKay, of Rocky Point, said he had "wonderful relationships" with Suffolk Executive Steve Levy and former U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio, both seeking the GOP gubernatorial nomination. But MacKay said Cuomo's agenda "speaks to independents."

Cuomo noted the Independence endorsement, coupled with his outreach to Republicans, demonstrates his commitment not to be "hyperpartisan" in the campaign.