ALBANY — Five Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday endorsed Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul for election in 2022 to her first full term as governor, one day after another Democratic challenger entered the race, bolstering her upstate support.
Five members of the state Assembly announced they endorse Hochul, including Didi Barrett, of Hudson; D. Billy Jones, of Chateaugay Lake; John McDonald III, of Cohoes; Patricia Fahy, of Albany; and Carrie Woerner, of Round Lake on Tuesday — less than a day after U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-Long Island, declared his campaign for governor late Monday morning.
“After just three months as governor, Kathy Hochul has completely reset the tone of New York state government, increasing transparency, collaboration and civility,” Assemblywoman Barrett said in a statement Tuesday. “She truly knows and values New York’s diverse communities and rich history all across the state. I am proud to endorse Gov. Hochul for a full term and can’t wait to see what we can get done working together.”
A total of 18 members of the Assembly, including the most recent five, have endorsed Hochul, a moderate Democrat, within the last month. Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, a fellow Buffalo native, announced her support for the governor Nov. 10.
Jones, who represents parts of the north country, touted Hochul’s background as a local official and her dedication to working with all New Yorkers within multiple layers of government.
“In my tenure as assemblyman, I have worked with Gov. Hochul on many issues,” Jones said in a statement Tuesday. “As a Buffalo native, I know she works to represent all New Yorkers. She has a long tenure of advocacy for upstate New York and her ability to follow through on thoughtful policy will continue to serve her well in this role. I look forward to continuing to work with Gov. Hochul to ensure North Country residents, and all New Yorkers, have the resources they need to thrive.”
Hochul’s support far outpaces that of her challengers, both in sheer number and variety within the state’s 10 regions.
U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo; state Sens. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo; and Diane Savino, D-Staten Island; eight county Democratic committees and 27 county Democratic Party chairs, including St. Lawrence County Democratic Chair Mark Bellardini and Jefferson County Democratic Chair Corey DeCillis, have also thrown support in hopes of a Hochul victory on Nov. 8, 2022.
“I am honored to have earned the support and endorsements of these five distinguished members of the New York State Assembly,” Hochul said in a statement. “Over the past several months, we’ve worked collaboratively to deliver meaningful results for working families throughout the Capital Region, Hudson Valley and North Country. I look forward to building on our progress to create an economy that gives every New Yorker the opportunity to thrive and succeed.”
The Democratic Committees of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties have thrown support to Hochul, adding to her growing list of endorsements.
State Attorney General Letitia A. James announced her gubernatorial bid at the end of October, followed by New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a Democratic socialist, earlier this month. Suozzi was the fourth Democrat to enter the contest Monday.
U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-Shirley, is the leading Republican nominee, having announced his candidacy in April.
Assemblymembers Alicia Hyndman, Kimberly Jean-Pierre, Nily Rozic and Nathalia Fernandez, all Democrats; and Democratic State Sens. Kevin S. Parker, Jessica Ramos and James Skoufis have endorsed James — a fellow progressive.
James, a Brooklynite, has also received endorsements from Transport Workers Union International, Higher Heights for America, Collective PAC, the Democratic Attorneys General Association, Manhattan Borough President-elect Mark Levine and Bronx Borough President-elect Vanessa Gibson.
Williams’ campaign did not return a request Tuesday for an updated list of his gubernatorial endorsements.
The most recent Marist Poll and others show Hochul — who took office Aug. 24 after former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo resigned in disgrace — as the favored winner of the Democratic nomination, including separately against James or Williams.
State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs was first to publicly endorse Hochul on Oct. 5 — 13 months before the race, and before this year’s elections.
Jacobs, who chairs the Nassau County Democratic Committee, announced his personal endorsement atypically to dissuade other Democrats from declaring a bid for governor, citing the need to unify the party in the state.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who mounted a failed bid to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2019, continues to explore a possible run for governor. He had not officially declared his candidacy as of Tuesday.