Skelos Would Welcome Cuomo’s Endorsement
With Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos as the keynote speaker at this morning’s New York delegation breakfast here in Tampa, talk naturally turned to whether Republicans can hang on to their last lever of power in New York.
Skelos did not mention popular Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, in his speech, which was focused largely on extolling the virtues of his 33-member GOP majority and warning of the disaster that would occur should the Democratic conference take over again.
But Skelos did tell reporters in a question-and-answer after that he would welcome Cuomo’s endorsement of any of his candidates.
“Of course I would,” Skelos said. If he thinks it’s appropriate, absolutely. He’s a very popular governor and it wouldn’t bother me in the least.”
A cross-party endorsement from Cuomo is highly unlikely, even if he has worked well with Senate Republicans on fiscal issues. Still, Cuomo has said he would make his Senate endorsements on a “case-by-case” basis and has not backed a Democratic takeover of the chamber.
There’s a lot of discussion as to whether the governor even prefers a Republican Senate in order to play them off of a Democratic-controlled Assembly.
More likely, Cuomo was playing the hand he was dealt as governor and would adjust accordingly should Democrats take over.
Skelos’ comments, of course, are not a surprise at all.
Senate Republicans have made sure to hug the governor quite close as they head into a re-election campaign that is also a presidential election year sure to draw out the state’s Democratic-heavy base.
He did caution that Cuomo hasn’t given him any indication he would indeed cross party lines to endorse his members.
“That’s up to him,” Skelos said. “We haven’t discussed it.”
Not that the GOP is completely unaware of that fact: Skelos and Republicans have taken out numerous insurance policies on keeping their majority this time around.
The Nassau County Republican says he expects to pick up at least three seats this fall, predicting victories for Bob Cohen in Westchester, Eric Ulrich in Queens and George Amedore in the newly drawn sixty-third seat outside of Albany.
Tellingly, Skelos did note that even if the elections don’t go the Republicans’ way, there’s still the Independent Democratic Conference.
“There are four IDCs so they have a long way to go to win back that majority,” he said.
Democrats feel confident, however, they can nab seats in Buffalo and on Long Island, as well as hold the district in Westchester where Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer is retiring.
Skelos did acknowledge that scandals surrounding Sen. Shirley Huntley, who is expected to be indicted sometime today, along with Assemblyman Vito Lopez do hurt the Legislature’s image, even if they are Democrats.
“We’ve had a great two years legislative sessions working with the governor,” Skelos said. “Governmentally we’ve done a lot of good things. Unfortunately these incidents arrive and you’re right they do set you back some, but we’re going to continue to move forward and do what’s right by the taxpayers.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on August 27, 2012 at 11:00 am, and is filed under 2012 RNC, Dean Skelos. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|