Cuomo says he'll stick with running mate Kathy Hochul; de Blasio repeats support for ticket
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday defended running mate Kathy Hochul, saying he has no plans to drop her from the ticket, while Mayor Bill de Blasio reaffirmed his backing of the two.
"Kathy Hochul is going to win the ticket in the race for lieutenant governor," Cuomo told reporters at Brooklyn's 47th annual West Indian Day Parade. "People understand lieutenant governor could become governor, and experience really matters."
Cuomo called Hochul, a former congresswoman representing a conservative Buffalo-area district, a "progressive Democrat through and through." Cuomo and Hochul face Zephyr Teachout and Timothy Wu in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary.
De Blasio, meanwhile, reiterated his plans to actively campaign for Cuomo and Hochul in the primary and general elections.
"I think Kathy Hochul's doing great," de Blasio said before the parade. "I think she won originally in western New York, in a tough district, and she proved her ability as a vote-getter. . . . I think she's going to be the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor."
Hochul was not at the parade.
Teachout has said her political views are aligned with those of de Blasio, a self-described progressive.
De Blasio said of Teachout, "I respect her, and I just don't know her work well. But again, I support Governor Cuomo."
The mayor said he did not want to speculate on whether the insurgent Wu would defeat Hochul.
Cuomo, asked about the possibility that he could pair with Wu in the November general election, said, "It's not going to happen."
Teachout and Wu, who campaigned together at the parade, have said Cuomo and Hochul are too conservative for the Democratic Party.
"Our campaign started with people being dissatisfied with Andrew Cuomo because he's really not a Democrat," Teachout said. "But in the last week it shifted to a genuine excitement about having the first woman governor, about having the first Asian-American statewide officer, about really new politics."
She said she expects that while de Blasio isn't supporting her candidacy, his base in New York City might be.
Wu said of the lieutenant governor race, "We're winning, and there's an air of desperation to the Hochul campaign."
Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino was not at the parade.