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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s running mate is getting criticized from the left and the right for her so-far low profile in the statewide campaign.
Cuomo foes – liberals and conservatives – say the governor is keeping his running mate, former Buffalo-area congresswoman Kathy Hochul, out of the spotlight in part because her views clash with Cuomo’s on immigration and gun control. Cuomo says the notion is “absurd.”
The former congresswoman has had a low profile since she accepted the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor at the party convention in Huntington in May. Hochul doesn’t send out a public schedule of her campaign events to the media, unlike the Republican lieutenant governor candidate, Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss. Hochul’s Twitter account features photos of her at events with other Democrats.
Cuomo rivals are making hay of Hochul’s lack of public presence.
“Which will be found first – [finding] the Malaysian airlines [plane] or Kathy Hochul on the campaign trail? I mean, it’s a legitimate question,” Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino joked at an Albany news conference Tuesday.
Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu, who are trying to challenge Cuomo and Hochul in a Democrat primary, also took a shot.
“When is Kathy Hochul going to come out of hiding? Maybe someone should file a missing persons report,” Wu, a candidate for lieutenant governor, said in a statement Tuesday. “Or maybe – just maybe – she’s in hiding because she knows that her anti-immigrant, pro-gun record won’t cut it among Democratic voters in New York State. There is no doubt about it: There’s a giant gap between my beliefs and Kathy Hochul’s.”
Hochul was among county clerks who challenged then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s proposal to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. She was endorsed by the National Rifle Association in 2012 during her unsuccessful congressional re-election campaign. In contrast, Cuomo has made a gun-control law he signed into law in 2013 one of the highlights of his tenure.
Cuomo has said the notion that Hochul is hiding is “absurd.”
“I select a person to run on the ticket with me who I don’t want anyone to know who she is? Silly,” Cuomo said Monday.