Just two weeks before the June 28 Democratic gubernatorial primary, Mayor Eric Adams Wednesday endorsed Governor Kathy Hochul for a full four-year term in the Governor’s Mansion.
While announcing the endorsement at the 32BJ SEIU offices in Manhattan, Hochul touted her strong working relationship with Adams, which stands in contrast to the often adversarial one between the last governor and mayor – Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio.
“Mayor Adams and I are proving what a strong partnership can achieve when leaders are united in delivering results for New Yorkers,” said Hochul. “Since taking office, we have worked together to tackle some of the city’s most pressing issues, from public safety to housing to getting our economy back on track. We are committed to building a new chapter in our state’s history that’s focused on teamwork, collaboration, and progress over politics.”
During this year’s state legislative session Hochul pushed to deliver key legislative priorities for Adams like the extension of mayoral control over the city’s public schools and rollbacks to criminal justice reforms passed in recent years amid an ongoing crime wave in the city. However, Hochul was only able to deliver a two-year extension of mayoral control, rather than the four years Adams wanted, and couldn’t get the legislature to sign off on allowing judges to consider the “dangerousness” of a suspect when setting bail, another Adams priority.
Nevertheless, Adams also praised his good working relationship with Hochul when announcing his endorsement, saying they’re aligned on several policy goals.
“Before I took office, Governor Hochul and I sat down and immediately found we shared the same priorities – the priorities of working people: public safety, childcare, housing and a more affordable New York,” Adams said. “Since then, Governor Hochul has been a true partner, working on behalf of everyday New Yorkers — and it has yielded real results. I look forward to continuing that work for years to come with Governor Hochul and collaborating to lift this city and state to new heights.”
Political consultant Hank Sheinkopf told PoliticsNY that Adams endorsing the current governor for a full term is a necessity if he hopes to have a strong negotiating position in Albany for the next three years.
“In history, we know what happens when governors and mayors don’t get along,” Sheinkopf said. “A mayor can’t afford a governor who wants to hurt the mayor. We’ve had instances of governors and mayors feuding, it just doesn’t work out well for the mayor, not the governor. The smart move here is to endorse her because it’s a political necessity and it gives him somebody he can depend on in the future in Albany versus the legislature.”
Additionally, Sheinkopf said, Adams’ endorsement of Hochul two weeks out from the election could help her secure support from Black voters in the outer-boroughs, a key voting block. Nabbing these voters’ support could also be helpful if the general election between the Democratic and Republican nominees in the fall is closer than expected, he added.
“She’s going to win Manhattan, where Adams has never been strong,” he said. “She’s going to win the Brownstone Belt in Brooklyn, where Adams has not been strong. But in areas where Adams is strong there’s a possibility that she may increase her numbers more than people think. And that would be very important for her, particularly if the fall race is closer than people might think. And if crime keeps going up, it may in fact be closer.”
By throwing his support behind Hochul, Adams passed over her competitors Congress Member Tom Suozzi (D – Queens, Long Island) and city Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. Suozzi has tried hard to win Adams’ endorsement, after passing on a deputy mayor gig in the Adams administration months back, often parroting the mayor’s tough on crime message on the campaign trail.
In a statement, Suozzi seemed to suggest the mayor’s decision to back Hochul won’t poison their relationship.
“I still consider Eric Adams a brother, but if he wants to stop surging crime in NYC he will need a new governor in Albany who will fix bail reform. I will,” Suozzi said in a statement.