Gubernatorial candidates Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino stumped across the state yesterday, even though Democrat Cuomo appears to have the election locked up.
Cuomo, 52, appeared at rallies in Albany and Buffalo, the Republican’s hometown, before wrapping up his campaign with a visit to LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City.
Paladino, 64, addressed crowds in Brighton and elsewhere upstate, but continued to spark controversy.
A photo of Paladino, trailing Cuomo by as many as 25 points in polls, surfaced yesterday showing the businessman posing with a man in black-face makeup during what appears to be a Halloween party. The relationship between the man and Paladino was not immediately known.
The image was posted on the WNYMedia website, which previously had released racist and pornographic e-mails sent around by Paladino.
Brooklyn Assemb. Hakeem Jeffries issued a statement on behalf of several local black leaders, condemning Paladino’s “racially insensitive behavior which we have continually witnesses throughout his crude and ugly campaign,” according to the Albany Times Union.
Also yesterday, Paladino invoked his dead son in an online video. Patrick Paladino, 29, died in 2009 when he lost control of his SUV and crashed near Buffalo.
“I figured I could do it [run for governor] because I had my son on my shoulder,” the Republican candidate said. “With him, I could take on any challenge, and nothing could hurt me worse than losing my son.”
In the video, Paladino also discussed his career in the military and as a lawyer and how he hopes to lower taxes, cut spending and create jobs.
Former Gov. George Pataki gave a lukewarm endorsement yesterday, saying, “While I don’t agree with my party’s nominee for governor on any number of issues, we do agree on three essential Republican-Conservative core beliefs,” tax cuts, spending cuts and smaller government.