Ex-gov George Pataki reflects on Cuomo: Beware a comeback

Ex-gov George Pataki reflects on Cuomo: Beware a comeback

There’s nothing to stop Andrew Cuomo from making a comeback, warned former New York Gov. George Pataki.

“It’s certainly possible he runs again,” Pataki, 76, told The Post by phone from his home in Garrison, New York. “I hope he has the good sense not to do it, but Anthony Weiner came back and ran for mayor.”  

Pataki said he was pleased to see Cuomo step aside — but saw more than just contrition in the governor’s announcement that he was leaving office.

“Seeing his resignation statement, it almost looked as though he was trying to position himself,” said Pataki, who added it seemed like Cuomo was hoping “that the people would forget and he would run again. I certainly hope the people don’t forget.”

On Friday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced he would end the chamber’s impeachment probe into the 63-year-old Cuomo. If Cuomo had been impeached, it would have ended any chance of his running for governor again.

Former Gov. George Pataki
Former Gov. George Pataki warns that nothing is stopping Andrew Cuomo from running for office again.
J.C.Rice for NY Post

The governor had been actively fundraising for a fourth term before being felled by long simmering allegations of sexual misconduct. His campaign committee reported more than $18 million in the bank as of last month.

“There’s no reason that he couldn’t, if he wanted to run for governor in 2022. There would be at least a few other folks in the race. You won’t need 51 percent to win, and he has by far the greatest name ID of anyone,” said Chris Coffey, a longtime city Democratic operative. “There’s no reason to think he couldn’t run and potentially win.”

Pataki urged the state legislature to pass a resolution to formally shut down any possible return for Cuomo.

“I believe the Senate has the power to preclude his ability to run again and if that’s the case I would urge them to pass that resolution,” he said.

Pataki, the last Republican governor of the Empire State, served three relatively quiet terms between 1995 and 2006. He is the only living elected state governor who has not been forced to resign in scandal.

Andrew Cuomo and former Gov. George Pataki attend a ceremony at the World Trade Center site in New York on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015.

“I feel bad for the state of New York. This was a great state. We’ve had just very poor leadership since I’ve left,” Pataki immodestly proclaimed.

“Andrew Cuomo never got the scrutiny he needed to have until just recently,” he said.

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