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The Margin: Is Andrew Cuomo planning to enter New York’s gubernatorial race?

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could be looking to win back his old job.

The prominent Democrat, who resigned from his position last year amid a growing scandal involving allegations of sexual harassment, is considering a run against current governor and his former lieutenant Kathy Hochul, according to a CNBC story.

The report said that Cuomo “has been fielding calls from supporters about a possible run” and that “his aides have been conducting their own internal voter polling on a potential matchup.”

Cuomo would need to move relatively quickly — at least if he wanted to compete against Hochul in the state’s June Democratic primary. The CNBC story noted he would need to have voter-petition signatures filed next month. The former governor could also opt to run for his old job as an independent.

Richard Azzopardi, a Cuomo spokesman, didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment from MarketWatch. In response to CNBC, Azzopardi didn’t directly speak to the former governor’s future political ambitions, but said in an email that Cuomo “has thoughts and opinions about the direction of this state and the Democratic Party as a whole and he won’t hesitate to make them known.” 

Cuomo rose to national prominence at the outset of the pandemic, when he held daily press conferences that many New Yorkers — and those outside the state — said provided a clear-headed view of the health crisis.

But by 2021, the governor, who was in the midst of his third term, was beset by allegations from several women that he acted in a sexually inappropriate manner and he eventually resigned. An investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James accused him of sexual harassment, but no criminal charges resulted.

Cuomo has denied all wrongdoing and has been mounting something of a recent campaign to clear his name and put himself back in the public eye. He has run television ads that tout his gubernatorial achievements. He also made an appearance at a church in Brooklyn, N.Y., earlier this month, and hinted at his political future during his speech.

“God isn’t finished with me yet,” Cuomo said at the church.

Cuomo might also be encouraged by a recent poll that suggested he has a shot against Hochul. The Emerson College/The Hill poll showed that Hochul has the lead in a Democratic primary race, with 37% of the vote. But Cuomo is not far behind — at 33%. There are a handful of other candidates who receive less than 10% each.

Still, Cuomo could be facing an uphill battle, according to longtime political consultant George Arzt. He told MarketWatch that if Cuomo attempts a run, it will likely result in consolidating Democratic support around Hochul.

Arzt said if Cuomo has any hope of a political future, he needs to give it some time.

“He’s trying to clean himself up (but) he’s doing it too quickly,” Arzt said.

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