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Hochul (again) says she and Cuomo are a team

Albany – Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said – again – today that she is running for re-election with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the fall campaigns.

“The governor and I are running together,’’ Hochul said this afternoon on the Senate floor after presiding over a swearing-in ceremony of two Democrats elected in last week’s special elections.

Hochul said that people will look back upon the swirl about her political future “as the biggest non-story of the year” when she is sworn in for another term next January.

“We are running together,’’ Hochul repeated of a Cuomo-led ticket.

Hochul has, in one form or another, been saying much the same thing since January. But there are some within the Democratic Party who think Cuomo needs to shore up his relations with the most liberal wing of the party by choosing someone other than Hochul, an Erie County Democrat.

The speculation intensified after a recent trip to Buffalo in which Cuomo repeatedly said how much he and others believe Hochul would be the strongest candidate to run against Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Collins. Cuomo said that day, and then again Friday through a campaign spokesman, that it’s up to Hochul if she wants to run for re-election as lieutenant governor.

The Buffalo News on Sunday reported that a number of Democratic women in the Legislature are not happy with what some view as Hochul’s political desires being left hanging with less than a month before state Democratic Party delegates will gather on Long Island to select a statewide slate of party candidates for the fall. The women interviewed said the party needs to let Hochul do what she wants and run for another term.

Hochul herself is facing a primary challenger in Jumaane Williams, a New York City councilman from Brooklyn who is running an active campaign, including another trip to Buffalo this past weekend. Williams has already scored the backing of the small but influential Working Families Party.

Asked about the push to get her to run against Collins, Hochul again pushed aside the notion. Grand Island Supervisor Nathan McMurray is already running against the Republican and the candidate filing period has technically ended. “I had that opportunity. I chose not to a long time ago,’’ she said of a congressional run.

“I am so privileged to be the lieutenant governor, and I look forward to a robust and spirited re-election campaign. But we will win,’’ Hochul said this afternoon.

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