Just a few hours after the latest Siena poll showed him in a dead heat, Sen. Joseph Addabbo received the endorsement of Gov. Andrew Cuomo at an event in New York City today.
Addabbo, a Queens Democrat who holds a 2-point edge over Republican New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich, was one of three Democrats to vote in favor of same-sex marriage last year after previously voting against it in 2009. In endorsing Addabbo, Cuomo—a popular Democrat—praised him for that vote, as well as votes in favor of a property-tax cap and a pair of state budgets.
“Now, a number of elected officials are in difficult races I believe in part because of the votes they took and they took those votes in part because I was urging them to do it for the good of the state,” Cuomo said in Manhattan today. “Political courage, which is what Sen. Joe Addabbo exhibited, should be encouraged and should not be discouraged, and I want his constituents to know today that he is a man of conscience, he is a man of integrity, he is a man of courage, and that’s what you want in an elected representative—especially in Albany.”
Cuomo said he is “going to everything he can” to see Addabbo re-elected.
The dynamic of Cuomo’s endorsement is something that will be closely watched in the race for control of the state Senate, where Republicans currently have a slim 33-29 edge. Cuomo, a Democrat, has had a good working relationship with the GOP majority, and offered to endorse Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, after McDonald had lost the Republican line in a primary. (McDonald chose to drop out of the race.)
In Manhattan, Cuomo repeated that he would be making endorsement decisions on a “case-by-case basis” and said more announcements would be on their way.
“The election season is now becoming ripe,” Cuomo said. “I’ve made some statements on other candidates already, but I’ll be making more in the weeks ahead as we get closer to the election.”
UPDATE: Ulrich campaign spokeswoman Jessica Proud responds:
“Governor Cuomo is doing a good job and Joe Addabbo is lucky to have his support. Its not surprising given the close family ties and years in politics that the Governor would back him. Eric has been a strong proponent of the Governor’s reform proposals and looks forward to working with him when elected. Today’s Siena poll shows Joe Addabbo’s campaign is in crisis mode and he’ll need all the help he can get.”