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FutureStarrThe $9 Million Question: What's Andrew Cuomo's Next Move?
One year after his resignation in disgrace due to a sexual harassment scandal, Andrew Cuomo is back. However, it remains uncertain what he plans on doing next.
With his considerable campaign funds and history of running for office, he has plenty of chances to reclaim his place in New York politics. But will he actually succeed?
One year after his shocking resignation in August 2021, Andrew Cuomo still finds himself at a crossroads. Since leaving office due to sexual harassment allegations, the former New York governor hasn't held public office and remains mostly silent as he seeks forgiveness from those who supported him and attempts to make amends with politics.
According to a friend, despite Cuomo's apparent defiance in the sexual harassment scandal, he remains haunted by its trauma. This experience left Cuomo feeling like an innocent victim of political revenge and left him and his family devastated, the friend stated.
Cuomo's harassment scandal left him and his family searching for answers, with months spent fighting off attempts to charge him with sexual harassment - including a complaint filed by the Albany County sheriff on behalf of a woman who claimed Cuomo had groped her breast. Ultimately, the Albany district attorney dropped the case against him.
Cuomo had no plans to run for reelection in 2022, yet when the Democratic primary for governor began, he made appearances at Black and Hispanic churches where he was asked if he would join the race. Unfortunately, Cuomo declined to make a decision, leaving his supporters wondering whether or not he intended on entering the general election.
Now that he has more money than necessary to run a competitive campaign, he's exploring ways to use it effectively. He formed a PAC and is launching a podcast, which could attract progressive donors.
He's considering running for Senate, where he would challenge Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. However, this is a longshot and may prove more challenging than expected.
It's likely the former governor will need to spend some of his $9 million fortune on advertising in order to establish himself as the person who was right when other women accused him of sexual harassment. That would take a substantial amount of money.
Andrew Cuomo faces an uncertain political future, yet he also enjoys a unique position within New York politics. His vast campaign war chest represents the largest amount of money ever retained by a departing New York politician in recent memory.
Political analysts and experts believe the money Cuomo has stashed away in his account could enable him to make a comeback or even play an influential role in state politics after leaving office, according to political analysts and experts. If the former governor decides to run for another office, analysts believe this substantial sum of cash would be his most powerful weapon against any potential competitors.
He adds that the money he has accrued as governor could also provide him with a substantial fundraising advantage for any potential presidential run. Should he decide to pursue this avenue, it would give him an enormous edge over any competitors should he announce his candidacy later this year.
But one key question remains: How will Cuomo utilize his considerable campaign war chest, and how will that influence his chances in 2020?
Cuomo's governorship has seen him collect millions of dollars, much of it due to criminal convictions. Additionally, he has received donations from numerous lobbying firms and special interest groups that have enabled him to secure lucrative government contracts.
Cuomo has amassed more than $16 million in contributions since 2010, many of which were tied to his reelection campaigns. For instance, CHA Consulting - whom Cuomo appointed as his state's chief infrastructure engineer and which is now a major contractor - has given him more than $196,000 in donations according to records reviewed by The Center for Public Integrity.
He has also received millions of dollars from other companies that have done business with the state during his tenure, such as a construction firm hired for Riverbend development project in Buffalo and an engineering firm used to craft his redevelopment plans for Rochester, according to campaign finance records.
Last year, after his stunning fall from grace due to sexual harassment allegations, former Governor Andrew Cuomo hinted at a political comeback in a video released on Wednesday. In it, he stated that his time away had given him "a fresh perspective" on politics and people.
Reports indicate a new political action committee, podcast and gun safety initiative are set to launch within the next few months. In an eight-minute video message from Cuomo after his resignation in August 2021, he states that having time away from public scrutiny has given him a fresh outlook on life and government.
He praised his record of accomplishment, calling for criminal justice reform and sensible gun regulations, as well as economic justice for low wage workers. Additionally, he demanded equality and dignity for all New Yorkers regardless of race, sex, religion or immigration status.
He avoided discussing some of his most troubling scandals, such as his handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes or potential misuse of state funds to write a memoir. Furthermore, he has repeatedly attacked Attorney General Tish James' investigation into his misconduct.
Cuomo has yet to officially declare for office, but his New York Take Back the House PAC has been running ads and making donations to Democrats in key congressional races. These gifts have been reported to the Federal Election Commission.
These ads appear to be an attempt to restore Cuomo's public image after his resignation and list off some of his major accomplishments as governor, such as raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. While some Democratic Party officials have criticized these ads, some could see them as an effort to win back voters who were left reeling after his abrupt departure.
According to online advertising tracker Medium Buying, Cuomo's campaign fund has already spent more than $2 million on TV ads. Furthermore, he has encouraged people to sign a petition in support of his election bid.
Cuomo's return to public prominence has also sparked interest from potential primary challengers for his job as governor. Former Hudson Valley state Senator Terry Gipson is considering running against Cuomo next year, while Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner also wants to unseat him. Nevertheless, due to well-funded campaigns and a high favorability rating for Cuomo, finding an opponent will prove challenging.
Andrew Cuomo may return to politics at some point, though exactly where is yet unknown. Reports indicate he is considering running for attorney general or even governor again. Sources familiar with his plans state that Andrew hasn't ruled out running again and his team is already setting the groundwork for a comeback campaign.
Cuomo's actions are drawing comparisons to President Trump's resignation over a report of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and he's launched an image correction campaign that includes advertising and public appearances. Additionally, he plans on launching a podcast and political action committee which would enable him to campaign for other progressive Democrats across state and federal races.
Michael Gershman, a political scientist at Fordham University, noted that this is an important milestone for Andrew. It gives him the chance to prove that he can bounce back from a difficult period in his life and still serve as governor.
Cuomo may find it more challenging to win a campaign this time around, as he faces accusations of sexual harassment from 11 women and could face impeachment proceedings by the state Legislature. Furthermore, civil lawsuits filed by those who have accused him could lead to criminal charges being laid by local prosecutors in Albany and beyond.
If lawmakers impeach Cuomo, he could face trial and be removed from office for an extended period. On the other hand, he also has the option to fight the charges and return to politics.
According to the timeline, it could take up to three months for him to be found guilty and prevented from holding office. In the meantime, he would still need to mount a defense against any articles of impeachment.
Cuomo may be the most vulnerable of New York's scandal-plagued politicians, yet he boasts enormous political capital and an impressive record of success. That could make him attractive to voters who wish him back in the spotlight.
Cuomo has had to contend with a series of difficulties that have left him isolated and unpopular in New York, such as allegations against him that have hindered other scandal-scarred New Yorkers from enjoying public approval. These setbacks could make it difficult for Cuomo to gain the support necessary for him to be successful in his political comeback efforts.