Former Governor George Pataki said Republicans had an “excellent chance” in the upcoming election and predicted that entry of disgraced former Governor Andrew Cuomo into the gubernatorial race would “guarantee” a GOP victory.
Pataki, who served from 1995 to 2006, said Cuomo would be “put down” if he decided to throw his hat in the ring.
“I think that would be the best thing that ever happened to the state because it would be crushed, almost guaranteeing a Republican victory in the process. No one would support Andrew except hardcore partisan Democrats,” Pataki told host John Catsimatitidis on his WABC 770 AM radio show in an interview that aired Sunday.
But the former governor said Cuomo, who resigned in August 2021 amid a spate of sexual harassment allegations, would eventually choose not to run.
“He’s the most disliked political figure in New York State. That is quite something. I just pray that Andrew Cuomo decides to get in the running. He will threaten [to run]. He will pose. But… he knows it would be terribly embarrassing. Ultimately, I don’t think he does,” Pataki said.
According to a recent report, Cuomo has considered entering the gubernatorial race as an independent, a move that would bolster the Republican nominee, according to a poll last week.
In the hypothetical ballot, 33% of voters said they would support a general Democratic nominee, 33% would support the Republican, and 16% would vote for the disgraced former governor, while 18% were unsure, Pix 11/The Hill/Emerson College poll found May 8th
Pataki also said that Gov. Kathy Hochul is “vulnerable” and that the Empire State needs an injection of new political blood.
“First time in [a long] Time, I think the Republicans really do have an excellent chance. … The state is going in the wrong direction. I don’t think anyone doubts that. Crime is out of control. people are leaving the state. Schools are starting to fall apart,” he told Catsimatidis.
“The time has come for an argument that you need to change the direction of the state. The second thing is that… we have a weak governor. Andrew Cuomo was forced in shame to create this void. Governor Hochul then made a terrible mistake by choosing the wrong person for Lieutenant Governor. It’s an absolute shambles,” added Pataki.
“We have a state that is going in the wrong direction and a governor that is vulnerable,” he said.
Hochul’s election as Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin ended with the former state senator being kicked off the ticket after he faced federal charges of receiving financial kickbacks.
“It’s one of the last chances for them [GOP], but it’s one of the last chances for New York State to pull itself together. Instead of being a national embarrassment, it can be a state that people want to live in again,” Pataki said.
Hochul would likely face Long Island Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin in November if she fends off challenges from Rep. Tom Suozzi and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams in the Democratic primary.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/15/pataki-gop-candidates-have-excellent-chance-in-ny-elections/ GOP candidates have “excellent odds” in the New York election