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Cuomo Stands By Kathy Hochul After Speculation He Might Look For A Change

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There are some big questions about what will happen in the race for Governor and Lieutenant Governor and the New York State gubernatorial primary  may play a more significant role than some people originally thought.

The latest speculation comes from New York Post columnist Fred Dicker, who quotes sources as saying that Governor Cuomo's political operatives are looking at the possibility of a scenario where Cuomo would actually try to dump Kathy Hochul from the ticket, if Democratic primary challenger Tim Wu wins the contest for Lt. Governor. Wu is the running mate of Zephyr Teachout, who is running against Cuomo in the Democratic Primary.

The basis for that speculation is that if Wu does win the Lieutenant Governor primary, and he runs with Cuomo in November, Cuomo would not be able to use votes that he receives on third party lines such as the Working Families & Independence lines,  since those lines represent a Cuomo-Hochul ticket.

Nazareth College political science professor Tim Kneeland tells WXXI News  this is just part of the scenario that could give Cuomo quite the political headache, especially if his Democratic challenger, Zephyr Teachout, does relatively well in the September 9th primary. 

"To have somebody like Zephyr Teachout get 30 percent in the primary or to have Tim Wu knock off his hand-picked lieutenant governor choice really would show a political weakness."

And Kneeland and other political watchers note that Cuomo needs a really strong showing in the upcoming elections if he still has national ambitions at some point.

Both Cuomo and Hochul dismissed the New York Post report at various events on Monday.

According to Time Warner Cable news, Hochul told reporters during a stop in Buffalo that the report is false, and says it reached “new heights of absurdity.”

Cuomo was also quick to say he will stand by Hochul. During an appearance in New York City, he said he expects Hochul to win her primary, saying that voters understand that experience matters.

Rob Astorino is the Republican candidate for NY Governor in November.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.