Disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is considering a comeback attempt in a run for his old office after resigning over multiple accusations of sexual harassment.
Cuomo bolted last August during a scandal where at least five district attorney’s offices in New York opened probes into allegations of possible crimes against current and former staffers. He is now considering another run for the state’s top office. He would oppose fellow Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul, who replaced him after he stepped down.
Sources say Cuomo is encouraged by political allies in response to a recent poll showing he trails Hochul by a few percentage points among likely Democratic primary voters. The former governor resigned while serving his third term in office.
The New York Attorney General’s office, led by former gubernatorial hopeful Letitia James, determined he harassed at least 11 staffers as well as women who are not part of the state government and released a detailed report of his actions.
The report said Cuomo engaged in a “pattern of inappropriate conduct” that included kissing an assistant on the lips, grabbing her buttocks, and reaching under her blouse.
One victim, a state trooper assigned as a bodyguard for the then-governor, alleges Cuomo touched her inappropriately and tried to kiss her. That trooper is suing Cuomo and his long-time aide, Melissa DeRosa for violating “federal, state and civil laws.”
Another alleged victim, Virginia Limmiatis, told investigators that she was assaulted by the then-governor while standing in a rope line. The New York AG’s report said Cuomo told her he was going to claim he “saw a spider on her shoulder” before moving his hand “between her shoulder and breasts.”
Cuomo recently indicated his willingness to create his own political party to run for governor, something he did in 2014 with the Women’s Equality Party — seriously.
Cuomo told a New York City church audience that he has “many options in life, and I am open to all.” The former governor still has an active political organization with about $16 million in funds.
However, the chairman of the New York Democratic Party, Jay Jacobs, said this week that he believes it would be a “bad mistake” for Cuomo to attempt to regain his office and that he doesn’t expect him to run this year.
Andrew Cuomo may indeed run to get his seat back, and New York voters have the right to choose whether they want his leadership again. But the question remains, at what point does the former governor cross so many lines that he is no longer a viable candidate in New York?