Cuomo and Adams Tout Themselves as Two-of-a-Kind Progressives
(Bloomberg) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo appeared Wednesday with Eric Adams, the Democratic nominee for New York City mayor, promising partnership and a commitment to progressive priorities.
Cuomo, who has scrapped repeatedly with incumbent Bill de Blasio, made hopeful noises about collaborating with Adams, who is Brooklyn borough president, a former police officer and state lawmaker -- and the prohibitive favorite in the heavily Democratic city’s November general election.
“I worked with Eric when he was in the Senate and he is going to be extraordinary,” Cuomo said. “Eric and I come from the same political philosophy. We are progressive Democrats and we have the same definition of what it means to be a progressive Democrat.”
Adams said Cuomo’s words weren’t a formal endorsement at the news conference at a Brooklyn church meant to push Cuomo’s plan to stop gun violence. He said aggravating divisions among politicians would be counterproductive.
“This is not about turning against each other,” Adams said. “It’s about turning toward each other to ensure that we’re turning this around.”
Cuomo last week declared a disaster emergency on gun violence through an executive order. Statewide, there have been more then 320 shooting deaths this year, compared with 594 in all of 2020, not including suicides, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive. Overall crime in New York City remains lower than in previous decades, however shootings are up 38% this year from a year ago, and hate crimes up 129%, according to the police department.
“There’s just a sense that we have a city where anything and everything goes,” Adams said Wednesday. “What we first must do is turn the page on policing and community relationships, build trust on the two. There’s a real divide and we can’t ignore it.”
Adams made the rise in crime a focal point of his campaign, and said he was encouraged by Cuomo’s move to address gun violence.
During the primary race, Adams was among the more moderate candidates in a crowded field, as compared to more progressive rivals, including Maya Wiley and Dianne Morales. On Wednesday, he cast himself as “the original progressive voice in New York City.”
His relationship with Cuomo will be crucial. New York’s governor has out-sized influence over the city. The state runs and sets fares for the subways, directs the transit cops and largely determines the taxes paid by New Yorkers, among other things. New York’s governor also has tremendous power in emergency situations, as seen during the Covid-19 pandemic.
That the two are appearing together early on may be a promising sign for their relationship, which Cuomo has said will be markedly different than with de Blasio.
De Blasio said at a Wednesday briefing that Adams must “figure out the path that works for him.”
Adams has said he is looking forward to working with Cuomo, but also has made a point of creating distance. Last week, as torrential rain flooded subway stations, Adams criticized the governor’s stewardship of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. But the men went out of their way Wednesday to present a united front.
“We will do it in partnership and we will show the nation how it’s done and what it means to be a progressive Democrat,” Cuomo said. “It takes two elements: courage and confidence. And I believe Eric Adams has both.”
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