Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is floating a political comeback months after leaving office in disgrace following accusations of sexual misconduct.
The former Democratic governor said Thursday that he is open to running for governor as well as launching a new political party to do so. Cuomo resigned as governor in August after New York Attorney General Letitia James published a report concluding that Cuomo “sexually harassed a number of” women.
Cuomo spoke to a group of clergy gathered in a small Pentecostal church in the Bronx Thursday, the ex-governor’s second public address in two weeks as he appears to work his way back into public life.
“I’m open to all options,” Cuomo said when asked if he was considering another run for office, according to Bloomberg. Asked if he would consider creating another political party for the bid, Cuomo answered, “I’ve done it before. My father’s done it before.”
Cuomo previously started a new party in 2014 during his run for reelection as governor of New York. Cuomo launched a party called the Women’s Equality Party in an effort to appeal to women telling stories of sexual harassment at the hands of powerful men. Critics called the move a cynical ploy to draw voters away from the progressive Working Families Party, at the time considering backing Cuomo’s progressive challenger.
Since leaving office, Cuomo has maintained his innocence and blamed “cancel culture” for pushing him out. In February, Cuomo said that if he could go back, he would never have resigned from office. “I never resigned because I said I did something wrong. I said, I’m resigning because I don’t want to be a distraction,” the former governor said.
Cuomo resigned in disgrace last year amid numerous allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct as well as bipartisan anger over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. In February 2021, some Democratic legislators began calling for impeachment proceedings against the then-sitting governor over his COVID-19 policies surrounding the virus’ impact on nursing homes and New York’s elderly.
“Cuomo abused his powers to hide life and death information from the Department of Justice that prevented lawmakers from legislating – like fully repealing corporate immunity for nursing homes. That is an impeachable offense,” New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim said in a social media post.
“The only way to protect the integrity of the co-equal branch of the state government, AKA the ‘People’s House,’ is to start impeachment,” he added.
Democratic state Sen. Julia Salazar said at the time: “I’ve seen enough. We need real accountability for this.”
“This is a betrayal of the public trust,” Democratic state Sen. Andrew Gounardes added. “There needs to be full accountability for what happened, and the legislature needs to reconsider its broad grant of emergency powers to the governor.”
The wave of Democratic resistance to the then-governor came after one of his aides told Democrats in the state legislature that the governor hid the true toll of COVID-19 on the state’s nursing homes to avoid scrutiny from the Trump administration’s Department of Justice.
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