Andrew Cuomo, the disgraced former Democratic Gov. of New York, may be considering a run for mayor of New York City if a federal investigation takes out current Mayor Eric Adams, Politico reported Tuesday.
Cuomo reportedly would not try to take Adams on in a primary, but he is considering running for mayor of the Big Apple in 2025 if Adams does not survive the ongoing federal investigation reportedly focused on potential collusion between Adams’ 2021 campaign and the Turkish government, according to Politico, citing eight people who have talked with Cuomo or members of his inner circle. Cuomo has reportedly been plotting his political comeback after he resigned in August 2021 amid allegations of sexual harassment and that his administration deliberately covered up the death toll in nursing homes during the pandemic.
“I got the impression that he is ready,” Reverend Ruben Diaz Sr., a former state senator and ex-member of the New York City Council who spoke with Cuomo last week, told Politico. “No one knows what’s going to happen in the city.
It remains unclear whether Adams himself is the subject of the federal investigation, and he has not been accused of any illegal activity. However, federal law enforcement agents seized his iPad and cell phones for several days earlier this month, about a week after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the apartment of Brianna Suggs, a former intern and campaign fundraising staffer for Adams.
The Suggs search warrant was intended to gather evidence to determine whether she may have solicited foreign donations from the Turkish government, which would be illegal under federal law. The investigation’s scope includes the campaign as a whole, according to The New York Times, which obtained a copy of the search warrant.
“Do I believe I could run for political office again? Yes. I think I have a lot of options, and there are a lot of issues I’m working on now that I care about,” Cuomo told Politico in an October interview. “I haven’t ruled any in; I haven’t ruled any out.”
While Cuomo has remained publicly supportive of Adams, some New York voters recently received a poll testing a slew of potential Cuomo comeback messaging strategies.
“It’s beyond exploratory; this is a full message test,” Evan Roth Smith, a pollster and founding partner of Slingshot Strategies, told Politico.
Adams is facing several other woes in addition to the federal investigation swirling around him. The city has struggled to keep control of its budget with the waves of illegal immigrants that have been arriving, and persistent crime continues to dog New York despite Adams’ campaign promises to take a tougher stance.
“Though difficult, he could still be competitive,” Basil Smikle, a former executive director for the state Democratic Committee who is close with Cuomo, told Politico. “He does have support in African-American and Latino communities. He does have the support of more moderate voters.”
Cuomo could not be reached for comment, and Adams’ office did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
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