Crossing Party Lines: New Cuomo Ad Features Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente
Another Republican in Central New York is endorsing the Democratic Governor of New York for re-election.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente joins his colleague from Onondaga County, Republican Joanne "Joanie" Mahoney, who appeared in a television ad endorsing incumbent Andrew Cuomo, earlier this month.
In so doing Mahoney and Picente are not merely supporting the other party; they are also publicly turning their backs on one of their own. Republican Rob Astorino is not only the GOP's Gubernatorial candidate, but also a fellow county executive, representing Westchester County since 2009.
In her ad Mahoney credits Governor Cuomo with getting "...Democrats and Republicans to work together."
Picente echoes that sentiment, touting the promise of Nano Utica and adding that Cuomo's accomplishments include helping to develop the yogurt industry, strengthen tourism, and rehabilitate the historic Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Although some have questioned his motives, Cuomo has certainly made the appearance at least of caring more about "upstate" New York than many previous administrations, visiting during devastating flooding in the Mohawk Valley, a shooting and standoff in Herkimer, and the launch announcement for NanoUtica. And that, it seems, has left an indelible impression on local legislators, who seem to have put aside party politics, at least for the time being.
Picente, for his part, has been front and center at many state and federal events, invited by the Democratic Governor to participate and stand beside him at several forums and announcements in Albany.
The Oneida County Executive joined the Mayor of Rome, Joseph Fusco, Jr., in welcoming another prominent Democrat, President Barack Obama, to the region in May of 2014, and taking goodnatured chiding about how long he held onto the President's hand during their meeting:
The release of the Picente endorsement comes the day after The New York Times endorsed Cuomo, after previously printing that its editorial board had decided to skip the endorsement.
On August 26, 2014 The New York Times Editorial Board stated that Governor Cuomo campaigned on the promise that "Job.1 is going to be to clean up Albany." Stating that "...he failed to perform Job. 1..." the board "...had decided not to make an endorsement for the Democratic primary on Sept. 9." The article went on to explain the board's rationale:
"Why endorse no candidate in a major state primary? Here’s how we see it: Realistically, Governor Cuomo is likely to win the primary, thanks to vastly greater resources and name recognition. And he’ll probably win a second term in November against a conservative Republican opponent."
On October 20, 2014 the Times' Editorial Board reversed its decision, however, stating:
"While The Times’s editorial board chose not to make an endorsement in the Democratic primary in September, we recommend Mr. Cuomo for re-election on the basis of these achievements. His Republican challenger, Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, does not have broad experience and, on many issues, is out of step with most New Yorkers and the needs of this state."
Picente may indeed concur with the assessment by the Times, taking Republican Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino to task following Astorino's comments on WIBX, where the GOP challenger called NanoUtica "smoke and mirrors." Picente, a long with Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, took issue with those comments publicly. Picente stated that Astorino's comments were "out of whack."
Whether the Westchester County Executive's "poo-pooing" of the Mohawk Valley, as Assemblyman Brindisi put it, had any long-term effect on voters in Central New York remains to be seen. However, no local legislator - Republican or Democrat - has come out publicly in support of Astorino after those comments were made.
In case you have not seen them yet here are the campaign ads featuring Picente and Mahoney:
And, in case you missed it, here is the Mahoney ad:
Editorial Note: Rob Astorino is a paid media consultant for Townsquare Media, the parent company of WIBX.
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