Some big names in state and national politics are getting involved in New York races.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was in Manhattan on Thursday to offer an in-person endorsement of Kathy Hochul, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pick for lieutenant governor. Today, former Gov. George Pataki weighed in on a Republican primary in the state Senate, backing Yorktown Councilman Terrence Murphy in to replace Sen. Greg Ball, who is stepping down.
The Pelosi endorsement wasn’t much of a surprise: A California Democrat, Pelosi endorsed Cuomo via phone at the state Democratic convention on Long Island in May.
“Kathy’s principled and pragmatic leadership produced results for her constituents in Congress,” Pelosi said in a statement. “New Yorkers will be well served with Kathy fighting for them alongside Governor Andrew Cuomo. I am proud to endorse Kathy Hochul for Lieutenant Governor of New York.”
Hochul, a Buffalo Democrat who represented part of western New York in Congress in 2011 and 2012, is facing a Democratic primary challenge from Tim Wu, a Columbia law professor. Wu is the running mate of Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham Law School professor who is hoping to challenge Cuomo, but faces a legal challenge to her residency.
“I hold great respect for Congresswoman Pelosi,” Wu said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Kathy Hochul’s record on immigration and gun safety is more aligned with Republican Speaker Boehner than with Congresswoman Pelosi.”
Pataki, meanwhile, was in Peekskill today to publicly back Murphy, who is running in a GOP primary against former Assemblyman Robert Castelli for the Senate district covering parts of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties.
“Beautiful day for a huge endorsement by our last great governor George Pataki in Peekskill, thank you Governor,” Murphy tweeted today, along with the above photo.
In a statement late Thursday, Castelli said the endorsement shows Murphy is “the hand-picked choice of the party bosses, who are afraid of a true reformer in Albany.”
The winner faces Democrat Justin Wagner, an attorney from Croton.
“The Republican primary in the 40th Senate District has devolved into a competition for who is the most extreme, out-of-touch option for the radical right to designate,” Wagner campaign manager Steve Napier said in a statement today.