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Cuomo, Hochul kick off campaign tour in Amherst

Ashley Hirtzel

Governor Andrew Cuomo and his running mate Kathy Hochul made their first campaign stop at the UAW union hall in Amherst Friday.

Cuomo says he chose former Congresswoman Hochul as his running mate for her ‘can-do spirit’ and commitment to upstate. He said she brings ‘knowledge of federal and local government’ to the ticket, as well as a ‘woman’s perspective.’ 

Hochul says Cuomo’s selection of her for Lieutenant Governor was ‘unexpected’, but she says she knows this is where she needs to be.

During the stop, the two candidates addressed Astorino’s comments about the Buffalo Billion being un-sustainable.

Cuomo says people who don't live in Buffalo oppose the Buffalo Billion. He says he believes the Billion and the Start-Up NY initiative were good investments that will reap dividends for years to come.

“Upstate New York has been abandoned by Albany for a lot years and this is a way to undo the damage that has been done. So, I am proud to say that these are special initiatives for upstate New York, Western New York, because they need it and it is the right thing to do and in this state we do the right thing,” said Cuomo. 

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate Kathy Hochul.

Cuomo says his commitment to western New York is stronger than ever. Hochul says her advice to Astorino is not to come to Buffalo and say the Billion was a bad choice.

“Not a good move, because you’re basically saying: “I happen to like abandoned brown fields with weeds growing in them, I happen to like the old chain fences and broken glass that are on the ground, and I’d like to go backwards, in the way back machine. No I don’t like all this progress. I don’t believe the Buffalo Billion was necessary.” He would have left us in the state before the governor came to town,” said Hochul.

Cuomo also discussed the state's commitment to keeping the Bills in Buffalo.

“I don’t know that the NFL has been definitive that they need a new stadium, but I understand the commissioner saying that he’s interested in one and we’re pursuing the idea of a new stadium. But, we’re going to be working very hard to do everything that we can to keep the Bills here,” said Cuomo.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
Cuomo/Hochul campaign sign.

Cuomo says if the Bills need a new stadium he would like as much private investment to go into the facility as possible before tax dollars are committed.

Cuomo and Hochul gained the backing of the Independence party as well. Rob Astorino was also in Buffalo Friday, speaking to members of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.