New York, NY – October 17: Congressman Tom Suozzi Speaks at City Council Candidate Linda Lee’s General Election Kickoff Rally on October 17, 2021 in Queens Borough of New York City. (Shutterstock)
By Rachel Holliday Smith, THE CITY
New York had a decade of Andrew Cuomo. And we’re just getting used to Kathy Hochul. Who will voters choose to lead the state next?
Cuomo’s replacement, his lieutenant governor, Hochul, hopes to turn her short stint as chief executive into a proper four-year term via the 2022 election.
She announced her run even before being sworn in on Aug. 24, and her campaign has raised a lot of money. But Hochul still has some major political vulnerabilities to overcome.
Her original lieutenant governor, Brian Benjamin, was indicted by federal prosecutors and resigned in mid-April. Due to election law timing, he was stuck on the ballot with Hochul until Albany lawmakers passed a bill in early May that allowed him to be removed.
She chose a replacement soon after: Hudson Valley Rep. Antonio Delgado.
She is also facing pushback from her own party as they stymie her political agenda in Albany.
And she will be far from the only Democrat vying for the job, even after her top opponent — Attorney General Letitia James, whose office’s investigation led to Cuomo’s resignation — suspended her campaign Dec. 9.
Cuomo himself has been dropping major hints that he may try to return to public office. And because he was never impeached, he is legally allowed to run for governor again.
Even before Cuomo resigned this August, several of his fellow party members said they were considering a run, including city Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Long Island, Queens) is also running.
Meanwhile, Republicans have been suiting up for a fight for months, if not years, and are fundraising and mobilizing. U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin of Long Island and former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino are among the GOP candidates who have filed 2022 campaigns with the state, records show.
Officially, more than a dozen campaigns have registered with the state Board of Elections to fundraise towards a run for governor in 2022. Other contenders, including former Mayor Bill de Blasio, have already bowed out.
To help you parse who’s in and who’s out, here’s a guide on the 2022 gubernatorial candidates. as we know them so far in alphabetical order. We’ll keep updating this piece as the campaign moves along:
- Kathy Hochul: She will serve as New York’s governor through the 2022 election, at least until Jan. 1, 2023. Her latest role in government, becoming the first woman to hold the state’s top job, is the pinnacle of years working in public service, mostly in Western New York. As THE CITY reported in this piece about her career, Hochul served as Erie County clerk, then briefly represented Buffalo in Congress in 2011 after winning a special election. She ran with Cuomo for lieutenant governor in 2014 and 2018, though it was recently revealed that Cuomo had wanted to kick her off the 2022 ticket. She launched her election bid as she took office to replace Cuomo, and had raised more than $21 million as of January 2022.
- Paul Nichols: Nichols is a Jamaica, Queens-based attorney who most recently served as chief counsel for State Sen. Leroy Comrie. Nichols has worked in state government for more than a decade, he told THE CITY. He is running on a platform promoting affordable housing, easing the wealth gap and incentivizing New Yorkers to move to other parts of the state “to ease the concentration of population within downstate,” his campaign site says.
- Tom Suozzi: Suozzi has represented parts of Queens and the North Shore of Long Island since 2017 in the House. Previous to that, he served as Nassau County executive from 2002 to 2009 and began his career in politics as mayor of Glen Cove, L.I. Suozzi announced his candidacy in late November, telling Newsday he will campaign as a “common-sense Democrat.” He chose to run over an opportunity to become deputy mayor under Eric Adams, a friend and ally for years. In mid-February, Suozzi revealed his running mate is Diana Reyna, former deputy borough president under Adams and a former City Council member from Brooklyn.
- Jumaane Williams: As New York City’s public advocate, he’s spoken about a run for governor for months. Williams announced in late September that he was forming an exploratory committee for a potential race. In November, he announced his gubernatorial campaign. Williams has served as public advocate since 2019. Previous to that, he served as City Council member for Flatbush, Brooklyn between 2010 and 2019. He ran and lost to Hochul in his 2018 bid for Lieutenant Governor.
Republican hopefuls have been more proactive in launching runs. Among them:
- Rob Astorino: He served as county executive in Westchester between 2010 and 2017 and got his professional start in talk radio and television. He was the Republican nominee for governor in 2014, garnering 40% of the vote against Cuomo and then-lieutenant Hochul, who together won with 54%. Astorino registered his 2022 campaign with the state BOE in May, records show.
- Mike Carpinelli: He currently serves as sheriff of Lewis County and has spent his career in law enforcement in Kingston and Rochester. He is “President Trump’s favorite sheriff,” his campaign website reads, and has spoken out against mask mandates and New York’s gun control laws. He launched his campaign in August 2020, state BOE records show.
- Derrick Gibson: He’s a former construction and automotive business owner from Forest Hills, Queens, who has turned to podcasting and political activism. Gibson calls himself a “true conservative” who was “on the front lines for President Donald Trump at all the ‘Stop the Steal’ rallies,” his campaign site reads. The Daily Beast has reported Gibson invited a member of the far-right group the Proud Boys onto his podcast this summer. He registered his 2022 campaign with the state in February 2020.
- Andrew Giuliani: The son of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is a golfer turned Trump administration official who later became a television pundit for Newsmax. He launched his campaign in May of this year, BOE records show. Despite his famous surname, Giuliani’s chances to win the election are long: In a straw poll this summer, he garnered no votes from state Republican leadership.
This story was originally published on [May 4, 2022] by THE CITY.”