Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday sent a letter to Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, who lost his primary battle to Kathy Marchione, saying the senator had Cuomo’s full endorsement if he decided to continue in the race.
McDonald is one of the four Republican senators who voted in favor of same-sex marriage, a decision he suffered for in his campaign. Of the other three, two sought re-election. Sen. Mark Grisanti of Buffalo faced a primary challenge but won handily, and Sen. Stephen Saland, of Poughkeepsie, prevailed in a close battle with challenger Neil Di Carlo.
Sen. James Alesi of Perinton, Monroe County, announced in May he’d be retiring.
McDonald’s name will remain on the Independence party line, but he hasn’t announced whether he will continue his campaign.
Cuomo wrote today: “While I am not well informed on your local politics, I do believe that your support of marriage equality was a contributing factor to your defeat. Senator Saland and Senator Grisanti also paid a price for their vote, but it was not politically fatal for them.”
He continued: “I accept personal responsibility for proposing and strongly advocating the marriage equality legislation, and I remember personally asking for your support. You stood up for your principles, for equality and for a population long victimized. It is now evident that you paid a political price for your convictions. You should not be left to stand alone now.
“For me, while this situation is politically complicated, it is personally simple. Please know this, whatever you decide it would be my honor to stand with you and support your decision and effort.
“If you decide to go forward with your campaign you will have my full endorsement,” he wrote.
Read the full letter here: