ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday was chosen for a key leadership post in the Democratic Governors Association, one of the groups in Washington that has provided a national spring board for prospective candidates for president.
Cuomo was named policy chairman of the group by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, who is serving his second term as chairman of the organization. Cuomo’s supporters have said they want to see Cuomo run for president in 2020, although he would first face re-election in New York in 2018.
“I look forward to working with my fellow Democratic governors to enact meaningful change and work to unite a nation that has been divided for far too long,” Cuomo said, adding that he welcomes the chance to “advance an agenda that improves the lives of all Americans.”
The news comes as Cuomo, head of the state Democratic Committee, continues to see division within New York. Senate Democrats in the mainline conference that serves in the Senate’s minority have tried to pressure Cuomo to persuade the seven-member Independent Democratic Conference and a conservative Democrat allied with Republicans to unite and take the Senate majority away from the GOP.
Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) is supported publicly by the liberal Working Families Party, which is influential in Democratic politics and whose endorsement Cuomo has sought and received in past years.
“The Working Families Party is a divisive element within our party, not a unifier,” said Charlie King, a longtime appointee and surrogate for the governor who once ran the state party under Cuomo. “If Senate Leader Stewart-Cousins is a leader, now is the time to lead.”
Mike Murphy, spokesman for Stewart-Cousins, emphasized that if all Democrats united they would have the 32 votes need to control the Senate.
“It is mind-boggling that, in progressive New York, for Democrats to win a majority they are required to win more than just a numerical majority to actually govern,” Murphy said. “And that is why we need the leader of our party to step up. We will continue to look to the governor’s leadership to help unify the party.”