Hochul Refrains from Endorsing Candidates in Democratic Primaries


New York Governor Kathy Hochul has opted not to take sides in the Democratic primary, a departure from her predecessor, former Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was not hesitant to make endorsements. Hochul’s decision has been met with criticism, particularly regarding congestion pricing. At a fundraiser for New York State Assembly candidate Micah Lasher, Hochul did not endorse him or his opponent, Eli Northrup, who had been endorsed by the departing Democratic incumbent.

Hochul also appeared at a fundraiser for Tammy Murphy, the wife of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who had run for Senate in her home state before dropping out. The governor did not endorse Tammy in her bid. Hochul’s decision not to endorse may be attributed to her low approval ratings and a desire to avoid making enemies. She may also be seeking to avoid drawing attention after her performance in the 2022 elections was lackluster.

A race that Hochul could influence by making an endorsement is the New York 16th Congressional District Democratic primary between George Latimer and Representative Jamaal Bowman. The contest has been a hotly contested example of infighting within the party between progressives and centrists. Lupe Todd-Medina, a Democratic consultant who worked on Hochul’s reelection campaign, said it is smart policy for the governor to only endorse when it is a Democrat running against a Republican.

The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment. Her campaign spokeswoman, Jen Goodman, stated that Hochul is focused on defeating MAGA Republicans and ensuring Democratic victories up and down the ballot in November.

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