State and Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs endorsed Gov. Kathy Hochul for re-election on Monday during a news conference in Garden City.
Jacobs touted Hochul’s accomplishments in her short time as governor since taking over from Andrew Cuomo in August. Jacobs said Hochul “is a pragmatic progressive” who has garnered support throughout the state and will defeat any candidate the Republican Party puts forward in next year’s gubernatorial election.
“We HAVE a Governor who can and will defeat any Republican opponent in the fall,” Jacobs said in a news release. “And, we HAVE a Governor who, by any measure, has earned our support. Accordingly, it is my pleasure to endorse Governor Kathy Hochul and the entire Democratic slate for election.”
Jacobs lauded Hochul for the extensive traveling and outreach she did in her seven years as lieutenant governor. Many Democrats who have been elected to a variety of roles throughout the state, he said, “owe their election to [Hochul].”
Other endorsements Jacobs announced on Monday were Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, Attorney General Letitia James and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. Despite being chair for the state and county’s Democratic Committee, Jacobs said the endorsements were his own.
“I am not so arrogant as to assume that anyone will follow me or any potential candidate will change their decisions because of me,” Jacobs said. “By making endorsements, however, I will now be free, as a leader, to do what I can to keep our party united.”
Jacobs said his decisions as the chair of both Democratic committees are not based on his desire to pander to a majority of Democratic primary voters.
“I have been advised by some to let the process play out and that my tenure as state chair will have a shortened shelf life should Democratic primary voters disagree with my choices,” Jacobs said. “I did not take this job to spend my days worrying about keeping this job.”
Cuomo announced in early August that he would resign from office after Democratic officials across the state, including Jacobs, advocated he do so as a result of sexual harassment and assault allegations from James’ office.
One of Cuomo’s biggest allies, Jacobs previously said he hoped that the “legacy and progressive change” Cuomo spearheaded as governor “will outshine the darkness of this sorry episode.”
The findings in the 165-page report from James’ office, based on interviews with 179 people, indicated Cuomo violated multiple federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and New York State’s Human Rights Law.
Cuomo apologized to the women involved, claiming he meant no malice with his actions, but recognized that they offended the women who came forward. Cuomo also claimed that the most serious allegations made against him lacked “factual basis.”