Andrew Cuomo May Have Some Legitimate Competition in New York

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Andrew Cuomo has refused to resign after nearly a dozen women came forward to accuse him of everything from sexual harassment to sexual assault (one woman claimed he groped her). Democrats feigned outrage for about five minutes before moving on, as well, which was to be expected.

But even though he’s not going to voluntarily leave, Cuomo may have some legitimate competition for re-election. Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik is exploring a run for governor and her fundraising is shooting through the roof.

New York is an odd blue state in that they have actually shown a willingness to electing Republican governors and mayors (in New York City) despite being one of the most heavily Democrat areas in the country.

With New York suffering so horribly under COVID by way of awful leadership, could there be an opening for Stefanik? It’s possible, though, still a long shot. She did win an Obama district to get to Congress. She also checks the demographic boxes that would make some Democrats more likely to vote for her. Still, Cuomo plays for keeps, and the political machine in New York is ruthless. There’s a reason Cuomo has been able to get away with bullying people and mistreating women for so long. We’ve even seen Bill de Blasio complain about it.

Regardless, Republicans still have to try, and Stefanik is a good fit for the GOP in the part of the country. Would she be lauded as a rock-ribbed conservative in Alabama? Maybe not, but New York isn’t the South. Stefanik also showed her mettle during Trump’s first impeachment trial, putting Adam Schiff on the hot seat multiple times about his conduct when she could have just sat on the sidelines.

It’s easy to assume some states are just too far gone, and that may be the case in New York. It may not be, though, and we’ve seen unexpected shifts happen before. Stefanik seems like the perfect candidate to push Cuomo on all his pressure points. Further, she’s an excellent fundraiser, having raised big sums for other representatives over the years. There’s little doubt Stefanik could amass the war chest needed to wage a serious campaign.

I hope she runs.