WOODBURY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo picked up the endorsement of the Working Families Party line over the weekend in his bid for re-election, but it may have come at a cost.
Senate Republicans have been the governor's biggest allies in getting approval on measures like the property tax cap and tax rebates for homeowners. Support from across the aisle, including Long Island's all-Republican Senate delegation, is a major reason why Cuomo has enjoyed approval here in Nassau and Suffolk.
But Cuomo's close working relationship with Republicans may be in jeopardy. In accepting the endorsement of the liberal Working Families Party, Cuomo pledged to support Democratic candidates running for state Senate this November. "We must change the Senate leadership," Cuomo said.
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Hofstra University political analyst Larry Levy says Cuomo's move is all based on a desire to rack up big numbers in his re-election bid this November.
"He's swinging for the fences. He's looking to put up as many runs up on the scoreboard as he can," says Levy. "If he didn't have the Working Families Party, he'd probably still win, but he wouldn't win by nearly as much."
However, analysts say Cuomo runs the risk of alienating Long Islanders and other suburban voters if he helps put the Senate in Democratic control, because most Democratic lawmakers are from New York City. Republicans claim they fight harder for suburban priorities like lower property taxes and more aid for schools.
Both sides of the political aisle will be watching to see just how much Cuomo actually does to help Democratic state Senate candidates between now and November.