Gov. Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday touted competing endorsements from Democrats in the suburban counties near New York City.
It's a sign of how voters there in those classically swing areas of the state could prove pivotal to winning the party's nomination next June.
Hochul's bid for a full term was endorsed by nine elected officials who represent Westchester and Rockland counties north of New York City. The endorsements include Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Assemblyman Nader Sayegh, Assemblyman Steve Otis, Assemblyman Chris Burdick, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski.
She was also endorsed by several mayors, including Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano.
"I am thrilled to receive the endorsement of these dedicated public officials who share my commitment to ensuring government works for everyone," Hochul said. “From combating the pandemic to building a more inclusive economy, I look forward to working hand-in-hand with leaders in Rockland, Westchester, and across our state to keep New York moving in the right direction.”
Hours later, James was standing in White Plains with Westchester County Executive George Latimer, who was endorsing her amid talks of him running for lieutenant governor with her at the top of the ticket.
“I am honored to have the endorsement of County Executive George Latimer, Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, and this diverse group of Westchester County Legislators as we fight to change New York," James said. "I’m running for governor because we need to end the status quo and I am looking forward to teaming up with County Executive Latimer and others as we fight to create jobs, make our communities more resilient, and ensure every child gets a quality education.”
The endorsements from the suburbs were also being touted after the entrance of Rep. Tom Suozzi into the race. Suozzi, a moderate Democrat from Long Island, could hold advantages with Nassau County voters as he makes a second run for governor.