A Democratic primary challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo could mean big things for his campaign account.
If Fordham University Law Professor Zephyr Teachout is able to get on the Democratic ballot, Cuomo would be able to raise an extra $19,700 from each individual contributor on top of the $41,000 limit placed on statewide candidates for general elections.
That could put Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rob Astorino at a further fundraising disadvantage. As of mid-January, Astorino had about $1 million in his campaign coffers, compared to Cuomo’s $33 million.
Speaking to reporters Monday in Albany, Astorino said the potential fundraising boost for Cuomo was of no concern. (“He needs it,” Astorino joked when asked by a reporter.)
“The fact that we’re going to get our message out is important and we’re going to raise enough money to get that message out,” Astorino said. “(Cuomo’s) going to have to double down on what he’s got because nobody is buying what is happening in New York and the picture he’s trying to portray.”
Astorino had little to say about Teachout, who unsuccessfully tried to obtain the Working Families Party line, which would have allowed her to proceed onto the November ballot. Cuomo eventually snagged the WFP line after agreeing to back a full Democratic Senate and push a minimum-wage plan that would allow municipalities to increase their individual wage while following a state-approved formula.
“He’s trying to be all things to all people,” Astorino said of Cuomo. “He talks out of both sides of his mouth. He’s running out of people to lie to, and he has to determine what he actually wants to be because he’s made a deal with the Working Families Party that would undoubtedly drive up the cost of doing business in this state, raise taxes, drive more businesses away and just continue the exodus of New Yorkers to other states.”