Tuesday is primary day with a number of interesting local races statewide. One person who hasn't seemingly taken much of an interest in those races is Governor Andrew Cuomo. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has more on the governor's absence from the campaign trail this election season.
NEW YORK STATE -- Governor Andrew Cuomo and statewide elected officials are choosing not to weigh in on the major races for New York City mayor and city comptroller. But while Cuomo has steered clear of officially endorsing in the Democratic mayoral primary, he did defend front runner Bill de Blasio on Sunday from the charge that he has run a "racist" campaign.
"If I were Bill, I would be campaigning with my family the way I campaign with my family," Cuomo said.
Outgoing Mayor Bloomberg in an interview complained that de Blasio's use of his interracial family and his decidedly liberal platform has divided New Yorkers. Cuomo pounced on the statement offering up praise for de Blasio's family, but did not officially endorse his candidacy over the other four candidates.
Cuomo said, "They are a beautiful family, individually each of the members of the family are truly special people."
It's the closest the governor has come to endorsing a candidate in New York City's rough and tumble primary. On Monday, Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy denied Cuomo was shying away from endorsing Scott Stringer for city comptroller because he feared retribution should former Governor Eliot Spitzer win.
"The governor has no fears, concerns. He's never mentioned this. He's staying out of the races and a lot of races he's staying totally out, let the voters decide," Duffy said.
Cuomo has endorsed in one race: The primary campaign of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. Indeed, most officials have kept their endorsements to upstate races. Duffy endorsed Rochester Mayor Tom Richards. And Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has endorsed Brown and Richards, along with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner. DiNapoli is also endorsing Nassau County Executive hopeful Tom Suozzi and Stringer in the city comptroller's race. Senator Charles Schumer in endorsing Miner offered a classic line for most politicians: They try to stay out of primary endorsements.
"I usually don't endorse in primaries, but when someone is this good and done this good a job, I feel an obligation and so here I am," Schumer said.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, for instance, isn't endorsing in primary races. For some officials, the political risk is seen as too high by spurning a member of their own party. But Duffy insists that's not the case when it comes to Cuomo and Spitzer.
Duffy said, "I can tell you with every discussion I've had with the governor I don't buy that one bit. I don't think he has any concerns, any fears. "