The New York Times Editorial Board declined to endorse anyone for the state's September 9 Democratic primary. As it turns out, both of the two major candidates have the qualities the other lacks: Governor Cuomo has experience but hasn't helped clean up the capital, while his main opponent Zephyr Teachout doesn't have any management experience to accompany her drive to end the campaign finance loopholes Cuomo benefits from.
The Times' refusal to endorse Cuomo, despite praising gun reform and same sex marriage laws passed under him, was foreshadowed by the paper's July report on his administration's interference in his own anti-corruption panel. Cuomo disbanded the Moreland Commission halfway through its term, and settled for small reforms instead of big changes to campaign finance laws. Cuomo, the Board argued, walked away from his goal of cleaning up Albany, and so "he should not be surprised if many Democrats walk away from him on Sept. 9."
The Times acknowledges that Cuomo will probably beat Teachout on September 9 and later defeat his Republican opponent. Cuomo and his supporters, on the other hand, haven't been taking any chances. He's refused to say whether he'll debate Teachout, who has been endorsed by the National Organization for Women. Business Insider reported in late July that Cuomo volunteers were protesting the relatively unknown Teachout. Last week a judge ruled against Cuomo supporters who argued she didn't meet residency requirements. All this might seem like overkill for a long shot opponent, but it'd harder to lose votes if there's no one running against you.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.