Jumaane Williams mulling run for governor in opposition to Kathy Hochul: sources

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is forming an exploratory committee to mount a Democratic main problem to Gov. Kathy Hochul close to yr– and will publicly announce the transfer as quickly as subsequent week, The Submit has realized.

Williams has been calling donors and different political insiders to tell them of his potential candidacy, sources mentioned.

One Democratic insider mentioned Williams was “trying to get out ahead” of potential campaigns by Lawyer Basic Letitia James and outgoing Mayor Invoice de Blasio.

“He also struggles raising money, so he’s dipping his toe in early to see the reaction,” the supply mentioned.

A marketing campaign strategist for James — who commissioned the sexual harassment probe that led former Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign in disgrace last monthhas been gauging support from her donors for a possible run for governor, CNBC reported earlier this month.

James tried to downplay the report throughout a information convention final week, saying, “My focus is on my work in the Office of the New York State Attorney General.”

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is considering a run for governor.
Jumaane Williams has been calling donors and different political insiders.
Robert Miller

“I enjoy serving in the Office of the New York State Attorney General, and it’s entirely up to the people of the state of New York,” added James, who’s up for reelection subsequent yr.

However de Blasio just lately hinted that he was going to run for governor when requested if he was “at least considering” it throughout an look on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“I want to keep serving in one way or another in the future, so I’m going to look at different options

. Absolutely,” he mentioned.

Political advisor Chris Coffey, who ran Andrew Yang’s fao;ed mayoral marketing campaign and was a casual adviser to  Cuomo in 2018, mentioned, “There’s going to be a lot of qualified folks in the race, but it’s advantage Gov. Hochul to start.”

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is considering a run for governor.
Jumaane Williams tried to oust Kathy Hochul in 2018.
Dan Herrick

“Incumbency matters, even if it’s a short one,” he mentioned.

“That being said, Jumaane ran a terrific race in 2018 and isn’t to be underestimated.”

Coffey added: “Next question: What about Tish?”

In 2018, Williams tried to oust Hochul, then the lieutenant governor, however she simply beat him within the main, 53.4 % to 46.6 %.

That race was a lot nearer, nonetheless, than the one between Cuomo and Williams’ working mate, former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon, who misplaced by a virtually 2-to-1 margin.

Throughout their solely debate, Williams attacked Hochul as a “rubber stamp” for Cuomo.

Final month, Williams hinted at his aspirations after assembly with Hochul as she ready to interchange Cuomo.

Williams — an outspoken progressive — known as the assembly “productive” however mentioned he wasn’t all in favour of serving as lieutenant governor beneath Hochul, a reasonable, self-described “independent Democrat” from upstate Erie County.

“The lieutenant governor’s position is not one that I’m seeking,” Williams mentioned.

“That’s not a position that I’m seeking.”

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