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State Democratic Party chair says outcome of probes could determine Cuomo's political future

A headshot of State Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs, wearing a gray suit and blue shirt
New York NOW

The chair of the state’s Democratic Party, Jay Jacobs, says the outcome of several investigations into alleged bad behavior by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his top aides will help determine whether the party can back the governor for a fourth term in office.

“We have to look at what the actual determination is by these various investigations,” Jacobs said to Dan Clark from New York NOW. “And there isn’t just one, there have been multiple investigations.”

Cuomo is facing an ongoing probe by State Attorney General Tish James into multiple allegations of sexual harassment, as well as a federal investigation into whether he hid the true number of nursing home deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, and if he used top staff to help him write and edit a memoir, for which he was paid $5.1 million. Another probe by the Department of Justice — into Cuomo’s handling of the nursing homes — was recently dropped. Jacobs says he’s waiting to see what the investigations conclude.

“We have to take a look at them, and obviously we want a candidate that’s viable,” said Jacobs. “And viability is based upon the fact that they can get elected.”

Jacobs, who was chosen by Cuomo to be the state party chair, says he’s not concerned by a recent Siena College Poll that finds just one-third of New Yorkers think Cuomo should run for reelection in 2022. He says the governor has an “excellent record” during his 10 years in office in handling fiscal issues and building new infrastructure.

The full interview, broadcast this weekend on public television stations around the state including WNED-TV, can also be seen on the New York NOW website.