Zephyr Teachout launched her gubernatorial bid today, saying she “wants to be governor” and sees a path to victory against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Teachout, a Fordham University law professor, told reporters at the Capitol that she’s no mere protest candidate and said Cuomo has not lived up his promises when he was first elected in 2010. She’s challenging Cuomo in the Democratic primary and said she’ll have the money and the 15,000 signatures to compete with the incumbent governor.
“The political system is still corrupt and rigged, and Andrew Cuomo is not only part of the broken system but he made it worse,” Teachout said.
Teachout said Cuomo hasn’t implemented a tax system that more evenly distributes wealth in New York. She said she and her running mate, Timothy Wu, a Columbia University law professor, would limit tax breaks for corporations and look to overhaul education policy.
She knocked Cuomo for accepting $6 million from campaign contributors through a loophole that allows donors to skit limits by setting up limited liability corporations. She criticized Cuomo for closing down an anti-corruption panel in March, called the Moreland Commission.
“If New York gives us the chance to govern, we will build an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well connected,” Teachout said. “My vision of New York is fundamentally different than Andrew Cuomo’s vision.”
Teachout’s candidacy will allow Cuomo to keep about $3 million in extra campaign cash because of the primary contest, part of the $33 million he had in the bank in January. She said the money disparity won’t be an issue, and she dismissed questions about the five-year residency requirement to run for governor.
She said she moved to New York in June 2009. She said her candidacy is no different than those of former U.S. Sens. Bobby Kennedy and Hillary Clinton—both who were not New York natives and won election.
“I love New York, and New Yorkers love underdogs,” she said.