Governor Andrew Cuomo gave a strong speech in support of State Senator Jeff Klein this afternoon, joining a GOTV rally in the Bronx. Klein, leader of the breakaway “Independent Democratic Conference” which controls the state senate in cooperation with the Republican minority, faces Oliver Koppell in a Democratic primary on Tuesday.
Post-rally Press Conference:
Cuomo, joined by his lieutenant governor running mate Kathy Hochul and Klein, spoke with the press following the rally. After a statement touting Hochul and Klein’s candidacies, he answered press questions. Topics included his encounter with Zephyr Teachout at the Labor Day Parade Saturday, Hochul’s candidacy, his engagement with the IDC and Republicans, whether he’s “advanced progressive ideals” and his “ethics agenda”. The press conference concluded with an attempt to ask Hochul about being referred to during the rally as a “young lady.”
Update – Speech Highlights:
Speakers included Governor Cuomo, Hochul, Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz, Assembly Member and Bronx County Democratic Chair Carl Heastie, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr and Klein.
As you’ll see in our highlight reel, the speeches displayed much of what Team Cuomo has going for it; four years in office with some significant legislative accomplishments, nearly universal support from elected Democrats and their political organizations, enormous amounts of state money spent over the past four years which, whether well spent or not produces support from recipients, and a powerful speaker at the top of the ticket. There’s humor, a few exaggerations and basic politicking mixed with some contortions around the fact that Klein and his IDC have kept the Senate Republicans in shared power and the fact that governor has embraced many of those same Republicans. Among the contortions, Dinowitz’s statement that “Jeff Klein has never supported a Republican. Not once, not ever, not one itty bitty time.” Klein ran on the Republican line in 2012, getting 15,000 of his 80,000 votes on that line.