Newly announced Democratic gubernatorial contender Andrew Cuomo has looked to the state’s third largest city for his lieutenant governor running mate, selecting the popular, tax-cutting, Mayor Robert Duffy of upstate Rochester, the city’s former police chief.
The surprise selection of the 55 year-old Duffy, a tough, take-charge, Rochester native who holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University, was meant to deliver on Attorney General Cuomo’s pledge to pick a running mate who would be immediately ready to take over the reins of power if he wasn’t able to serve as governor, a barely disguised reference to New York’s current situation where Gov. Paterson, who has all but admitted he wasn’t prepared for the job, took over when Eliot Spitzer resigned in March, 2008.
Duffy, who is leading a Mayor Bloomberg-like fight to take control of Rochester’s failing public school system, retired as Rochester’s police chief in 2005 after seven years in the job — which included aggressive efforts to curtail what had become the city’s accelerating murder rate — in order to run for mayor, a post he won with 72 percent of the vote. He won easily reelection to the post last year.
Duffy has frequently decried the loss of upstate industrial and manufacturing jobs, especially at Rochester-based Kodak, and he’s backed aggressive policies to reduce the overall cost of city government and lower local property taxes.
Cuomo met Duffy after becoming attorney general in 2007 and was “immediately taken with his competence, intelligence, courage, and vision,” said a source close to the attorney general.
Duffy’s selection is expected to furt her strengthen Cuomo’s already-strong standing with the electorate by exciting upstate voters, who often feel overshadowed by candidates from the greater New York City area.
(Source: NY Post)