Andrew Cuomo Calls Latest Fred Dicker Column ‘Absurd’ and ‘Silly’

Kathy Hochul. (Photo: Facebook)

Kathy Hochul. (Photo: Facebook)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo mocked a New York Post report today that said the governor wanted to keep his running mate, former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul, out of the campaign limelight.

The column by longtime columnist Fred Dicker claimed that Mr. Cuomo was limiting Ms. Hochul’s campaign appearances because of her conservative views, including her strong opposition to gun control measures and an old proposal to give undocumented immigrants drivers licenses.

“How absurd a theory is that? I select a person to run on the ticket with me who I don’t want anyone to know or see? Silly,” Mr. Cuomo told reporters after an unrelated announcement today.

Mr. Dicker, a right-leaning columnist who has been openly antagonist to Mr. Cuomo for several years, wrote that “key State Democrats” are claiming Mr. Cuomo is looking to keep Ms. Hochul away from reporters. Once close to Mr. Cuomo, Mr. Dicker had a falling out with the governor after he spearheaded a far-reaching gun control law last year.

“Hochul, who received a top rating from the National Rifle Association when she ran for Congress and strongly opposed former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s efforts to grant driver’s licenses to illegal aliens when she was Erie County clerk, was chosen by Cuomo as part of his aggressive effort to win over Western New York voters,” Mr. Dicker wrote.

“But Hochul has granted virtually no in-depth interviews, has made only brief and superficial campaign appearances, and has been almost totally silent on her controversial past positions — including her declaration that she would have illegal aliens who sought driver’s licenses arrested,” he continued.

Ms. Hochul was named the candidate for lieutenant governor at the New York State Democratic Party convention in May. Some liberal Democrats quietly questioned her appointment but hoped she would move leftward in the same way Senator Kirsten Gillibrand did from her days as a more moderate-leaning congresswoman.

While Mr. Cuomo is heavily favored to win the Democratic primary against long-shot candidate Zephyr Teachout, Ms. Hochul’s path to victory is a bit less assured. An unlikely but possible scenario exists where Ms. Teachout’s running mate, noted college professor Tim Wu, can defeat the relatively unknown Ms. Hochul in the Democratic primary, observers say.

Mr. Dicker did not immediately return a request for comment.