ALBANY -- Here’s a sure bet for the governor’s race: Fordham will win.
That’s because all three major candidates have close ties to the Jesuit university in the Bronx.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo earned his bachelor’s degree there in 1979, Republican candidate Rob Astorino earned his bachelor’s degree in 1989, and Cuomo’s Democratic opponent, Zephyr Teachout, is an associate professor of law at Fordham University School of Law.
“We’re pleased, if not surprised that our alumni are represented in the governor’s race,” said Fordham spokesman Robert Howe.
“Of course there is a degree of chance in the fact that we have two graduates and a faculty member in the same race, but overall the candidates are representative of Fordham alumni and faculty achievements and influence.”
State government is filled with graduates from the university with 15,000 students in 10 schools including the law school.
They include veteran Sen. Neil Breslin (D-Albany), Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) and Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), Budget Director Robert Megna, Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) who runs the Senate Democratic campaign; Sen. Malcom Smith (D-Hollis) a former Senate majority leader and now under indictment; and Michael Murphy, spokesman for the Senate Democratic conference.
Other Fordham graduates in Albany were former Gov. Malcolm Wilson and Jim McGuire, a former appellate judge and chief counsel to Gov. George Pataki.
“Student government elections were financed by the college and there was a tremendous emphasis on knowing the political system and becoming involved in it,” said Breslin, who graduated from Fordham College in 1964 majoring in political science. “I think there is also a Jesuit influence to public service.”
The Catholic order is steeped in a follower’s mission to work for the greater good of society.