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Cuomo says he won big because he's a true progressive

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Matt Ryan, New York Now
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One day after winning big in a Democratic primary, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he received votes because he’s delivered on real issues that matter to people.

Cuomo said all the discussion during the primary campaign about which candidate is the real progressive was misguided. He said he won because he’s delivered on a number of progressive items for New Yorkers already, including paid family leave, a phase-in to a $15 minimum hourly wage and gay marriage.

Cuomo said the June primaries, where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won an upset victory over longtime incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley, were a “fluke”, because of the limited number of elections held on that day.

“I’m not a socialist, I’m not 25 years old,” Cuomo said. “But I am progressive. And I delivered progressive results.”

Cuomo said he believes his constant critiques of President Donald Trump and his actions to fight against Trump’s polices resonated with voters.

“They wanted someone to stand up to Trump and say, ‘Go to heck,’ ” Cuomo said. “That’s what they wanted. Someone to stand up and say, ‘You’re not going to do that in New York.’ ”  

The governor also said he has no regrets about the losses of several former breakaway Democrats in the Senate, including the defeat of the former leader of the Independent Democratic conference, Jeff Klein.

Cuomo said he remained neutral in the races, but noted that since they were all Democrats, it’s really just “rearranging the deck chairs.”

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.