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Insurgent Zephyr Teachout said Thursday she will submit 45,000 petition signatures to enter a Democrat primary against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The total is three times the required amount to qualify, though the Cuomo campaign could legally challenge the validity of the petitions.
Teachout, a Fordham University professor, is a liberal critic of the governor, contending his economic policies favor corporations and the wealthy. She unsuccessfully tried to secure the nomination of the labor-backed Working Families Party in May; its membership voted to endorse Cuomo after he said he would back a Democrat takeover of the state Senate, among other things.
Teachout said she and Tim Wu, her running mate, will send the petitions to the state Board of Elections before the Thursday midnight deadline. If he qualifies, Wu would face Cuomo’s running mate, former Buffalo-area Congresswoman Kathy Hochul, in a primary for lieutenant governor.
In a statement, Teachout said: "We are challenging Governor Cuomo and Kathy Hochul because we believe in an economy and democracy that work for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected. Governor Cuomo has abandoned New York and abandoned Democratic values. He has visited one public school in four years in office, while transferring school funding to big bank tax breaks. He has failed to enact a ban on hydro-fracking that would poison our beautiful state, failed to pass the Dream Act, and failed to live up to his promise of publicly-funded elections and of fairly districted elections.”
Meanwhile, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the Republican candidate, challenged Cuomo to a series of eight debates around New York.