Cuomo declines to make endorsement in AG primary
ALBANY - Ending months of speculation, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Friday he would not endorse anyone in the five-way Democratic primary to succeed him.
Cuomo, the Democratic nominee for governor, said he saw no need to publicly choose among the candidates because the apparent front-runners have vowed to support his campaign platform. It calls for job creation, tougher governmental ethics, no new taxes and less state spending.
Of the five attorney general candidates, Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, state Sen. Eric Schneiderman of Manhattan and former federal prosecutor Sean Coffey all signed Cuomo's pledge. Assemb. Richard Brodsky of Westchester and former state insurance superintendent Eric Dinallo did not.
"The leading candidates . . . have signed on to support my Plan for a New New York and I have decided to remain neutral in Tuesday's primary," Cuomo said.
His predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, also made no primary endorsement in 2006.
Political operatives have speculated Cuomo would back Rice because her gender and suburban base would help balance a Democratic ticket heavy on downstate males. But Cuomo has never said as much either publicly or privately, several sources said Friday.
Rice, noting the issues she worked with Cuomo on, said Friday, "I look forward to building on our successful partnership in the days and years ahead."
A Dinallo spokeswoman praised Cuomo for not engaging in "political deal making." A Coffey aide said his neutrality was proof of the race's closeness.
Brodsky declined to comment while the Schneiderman camp didn't immediately provide a response.