ALBANY — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who resigned following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct by women, considered running for re-election in 2022. However, he decided against it as he didn’t wish to subject his daughters to yet another campaign.
In her memoir “What’s left unsaid: My life at the center of power, politics and crisis,” Melissa DeRosa writes, “We had a printer lined up for petitions, and we had assembled a voluntary army and a canvassing operation that was ready to go.”
Cuomo’s opponent would have been his successor and former Lieutenant Governor, fellow Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul.
DeRosa claimed that Cuomo was “unable to stomach” the way state government had been run since his resignation. Cuomo weighed the pros and cons of running for office, even though he had support from family and friends who were ready to go out “guns-blazing,” wrote DeRosa.
DeRosa stated that the prospect of having to relive that trauma so soon was just too much.
Hochul won the election by defeating Republican Lee Zeldin.
DeRosa is known for sitting at the Governor’s side when he gives his daily COVID-19 pandemic updates on television. He also became Cuomo’s strongest defender during the sexual misconduct scandal that forced Cuomo out of office in 2021.
She defends both him and the administration, claiming that some of his attacks were political in nature and questioning some of the allegations.
DeRosa has a particular criticism for the state’s Attorney General Letitia Jesse, a Democrat, who released a report crafted by independent lawyers that concluded Cuomo sexually abused 11 women. Cuomo denied these allegations. DeRosa said that James had initially tried to reassure DeRosa regarding the investigation. He told her that people had described an important accuser as being “not credible.”
A spokesperson for James Gary Ginsburg stated in an email on Monday that DeRosa had “a reputation for dishonesty.”
Ginsburg referred to Cuomo’s administration’s incomplete count of deaths in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.
DeRosa’s new book gives an insider’s view of Cuomo’s relationship with other people.
• Former CNN President Jeff Zucker and his longtime aide Allison Gollust pressured Cuomo to appear on his younger brother Chris’s primetime show. The friendly trash-talking and brotherly banter was popular in the darkest days of pandemic.
• Cuomo had a complicated, wary relationship with then-President Donald Trump. DeRosa claimed that she would try to lobby administrations through Jared Kushner – Trump’s son in law. Sometimes, these exchanges could get heated. DeRosa hoped that Kushner would change his tone about the reopening of the economy early in the pandemic, when the majority of the country was still closed. Kushner replied that Florida was still open, and that death rates were lower there at that time “even with the shutdowns”. Did you know it, too?
• Hochul was told in January 2021 that she would be off the ticket the next year as Cuomo’s lieutenant governor. DeRosa stated that she agreed to go if they could find her a federal job, preferably an ambassadorship to Canada. The sexual harassment accusations surfaced as they were finalizing an offer at the Commerce Department. DeRosa dismissed Hochul, saying that she was unprepared for her job.
Hochul spokesperson Anthony Hogrebe responded via email that “the State of New York has moved forward, and we hope her to be able to move on too.”
Cuomo’s spokesperson Rich Azzopardi said about the book, “we don’t dispute any of it but have no further comment.”