Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote an official endorsement letter today backing Sen. Stephen Saland for re-election, offering glowing praise of the Republican senator from Poughkeepsie.
The two-page letter obtained by Gannett’s Albany Bureau knocks the current political system as becoming “subordinate to those on the extreme left or right, and the result has been chaotic for government,” and cites the bi-partisanship in Albany.
The Democratic governor has hailed his working relationship with Senate Republicans, and they have touted their successes with him as a linchpin for their re-election efforts. We wrote about that in August.
In particular, Cuomo has complemented Saland, a moderate Republican from the Hudson Valley, for being the critical 32nd vote to legalize same-sex marriage last year. Saland waited until the last moment before the vote to make his decision public, and Saland almost lost a GOP primary last month because of the vote.
Saland and Cuomo worked together to craft language in the law that protects religious organizations that choose not to recognize same-sex marriages. The provision was key to get Saland and three other Republicans to support the bill.
Saland also worked with Cuomo to bolster the state’s DNA database, which is aimed at better identifying criminals.
“Your work as a senator with me over the past two years has been based on the values of public service—putting principles over politics and doing what’s right for the people of your district and our state,” Cuomo wrote.
Saland told Gannett’s Albany Bureau yesterday that he was honored to have Cuomo’s support and that it would help him in his re-election, in which he faces Democratic and Conservative opponents.
The letter touts Saland’s support of the property-tax cap, repeal of the MTA payroll tax, on-time budgets and finally same-sex marriage.
“In each case, you did what was right, even if it wasn’t politically easy,” Cuomo wrote. “That kind of courage can create challenges in the political process.”