Kirsten Gillibrand said she doesn’t think there will be a primary for governor next year, despite Governor David Paterson’s abysmal poll numbers and Andrew Cuomo’s obvious designs on the office.
In a brief interview after she spoke to Democratic activists at a DL21C event at a bar in East Midtown last night, Gillibrand said repeatedly that the “politics will take care of themselves,” but did not elaborate on the point, preferring to bring the discussion back to the fiscal crisis facing the nation and New York State.
I asked Gillibrand if she thought Cuomo would run next year.
“[W]hat I’ve said in the past is I really think the politics will take care of themselves. Attorney General Cuomo has already said his views on these issues. And so I will look to the whole leadership in the next months to come to be really focused on solving the problems of our economy. I truly think the politics will take care of themselves,” she said.
Gillibrand has ties to both men, having worked for Cuomo at the federal department for Housing and Urban Development, and having been appointed to her Senate seat by Paterson.
I pressed on, asking who she would support if there were a Cuomo-Paterson primary.
“For me, I’m focused on being the best senator I can be, so I’m not going to get into those kind of politics right now. But [I think] because unemployment is as high as it is, because the budget is as difficult as it is, that all our delegation and our statewide leaders will be focused on solving those problems. I really do.”
Gillibrand has said previously she is supportive of Paterson for re-election. An aide to Gillibrand later said her hesitancy to pick sides in a Paterson-Cuomo primary was not a signal of any change in her support for Paterson, but rather, an indication that she believes there won’t be a primary.
UPDATE: Also see Gillibrand’s comments to New York 1 on the same topic here.