Cuomo accepts Independence Party nomination — before he’s officially nominated

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo has accepted the Independence Party’s nomination for governor, despite pressure from some in the Democratic Party and his Republican opponent to reject the third party’s nod.

Andrew CuomoCuomo signed a form yesterday accepting the Independence line, according to papers provided by the state Board of Elections. But the party’s nominating convention hadn’t even happened yet; the Independence Party gathered in Albany today to formally nominate Cuomo.

In Cooperstown yesterday, Cuomo said he hadn’t made up his mind on whether he would accept the line, suggesting a decision would come later in the political season. But by the end of the day, Cuomo signed the paperwork accepting the nod.

“Those are the decisions we’re going to be making down the road,” Cuomo told reporters yesterday.

Thomas Connolly, a spokesman for the state Board of Election, said state law permits candidates to pre-accept a party’s line.

“There is no first day to file, only a last day to file,” Connolly wrote in an email. “Anyone can pre-file an acceptance for a designation (through convention or petitions) before said designations occur.”

Former state Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs attempted to pass a motion this week at the Democratic convention urging Cuomo to reject the line. Jacobs contends the Independence Party, which is the state’s largest third party but often gains members who think they are enrolling independent of a party, is corrupt and stands for nothing.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Cuomo’s Republican opponent, also called on Cuomo to reject the line. Astorino has been at odds with the Westchester Independence Party, which has accused him of trying to stack the party with supporters to try and obtain the line in his re-election bid last year.

The Independence Party, at its quiet convention today, endorsed the entire Democratic ticket: Cuomo, lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

Cuomo had the line in 2010, when he first won election against Republican Carl Paladino. The ballot line netted Cuomo about 146,500 votes.

“What our Independence Party elected officials all share in common is the freedom to legislate without interference from political leaders and special interests,” party chairman Frank MacKay said in a statement. “We encourage an open and honest dialogue with their own constituencies, and we believe Governor Cuomo, Kathy Hochul, Tom DiNapoli and Eric Schneiderman share this vision.”

(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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  1. the consultant on

    can we please get rid of cross endorsements by minor
    parties of major party candidates….only six states allow it and there is a reason why? it is because it
    opens the door to political extortion and ideological
    extortion. the independence party chair in westchester
    admitted last year that he wouldn’t endorse rob astorino
    for county executive as he had done the previous election
    because he wasn’t given input on jobs in the county
    the conservative party chair mike long insists that the
    candidates his party supports be anti abortion…this is
    no way to run a democracy it hamstrings the party in the
    minority because it has to cobble together a coalition
    of minor party lines to have a chance…and it forces
    candidates for office to scrounge around for minor support in order to convince its own party that he or
    she can win..minor parties can run whomever they want
    in a general election but they should not be able to
    hold another candidate hostage. Finally the independence
    party in particular has many people registering and voting on that line who think that it is there party
    because they are “independent”. no party should be
    able to carry a name that is equivalent to being a
    Non party registered voter….isn’t there one member
    of the assembly or senate that has the political integrity to introduce a bill banning cross endorsements?
    who are “independent” and have no idea