Former New York Governor George Pataki Should Contest Incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2022
By Logan Balsan
Volume 1 Issue 4
January 20, 2021
Image provided by Fox News
Now that the 2020 Election Results were certified on January 6th, and Judge Merrick Garland was chosen to be President-Elect Biden’s Attorney General over Andrew Cuomo, Governor Cuomo will seek to achieve what his father, Mario Cuomo, could not: win a fourth term as Governor of New York.
Cuomo has been a wreck for New York State from the start. Since 2014, according to Forbes, Cuomo pocketed over $6 million in campaign funds from State contractors in return for $7 billion in state funds. Not only is his office riddled in potential ethics violations during the normalcy before the pandemic, Governor Cuomo has also performed some questionable actions during the pandemic. For one, he fudged the true amount of COVID patients sent to nursing homes, only to downplay that the facilities were not required to take in COVID patients, while an order from his office said otherwise. This story was picked up by the left-leaning news outlet CNN.
This poor leadership and policy-making abilities have been widespread throughout his three 4-year terms thus far. For example, his tax policies are driving thousands of New Yorkers out of State, forcing our congressional delegation to decrease by two seats, as projected by census approximations. New York would only send 25 Representatives, compared to the 27 we send currently. Cuomo even advocated to raise taxes in December of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. In a new proposal to legalize marijuana recreationally, the State would pocket over $300 million in excise taxes, officials familiar with the matter have stated. However, I will give a thumbs up to Cuomo for allowing us to attend school in-person, though, the cons do outweigh the pros. Who has been frequently vocal against Cuomo’s pandemic leadership abilities? Former Republican New York Governor George Pataki.
Don’t know who George Pataki is? Let me give you some background. George Elmer Pataki, a Republican, is a politician who served in both chambers of the New York State legislature as well as Mayor of Peekskill, NY before catapulting into the Governor’s Office in 1995 after defeating popular New York Governor Mario Cuomo, who is also Andrew Cuomo’s father. Pataki served in the Governor’s Office during turbulent times: helping New York rebuild from the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th. He also oversaw the construction of the Freedom Tower, beginning in 2006 under his Administration. Currently the most recent Republican to serve in the office, Pataki was able to appeal to both social conservatives and liberals as well as fiscal conservatives and liberals in his policy-making.
Reading Pataki’s 2016 Presidential Campaign Platform, it is evident why he appealed to voters across both aisles. While the Republican Party has been labeled “pro-life”, Pataki believes in legalized abortions with limits. He has supported lowering taxes, as well as expanding Obamacare as the nation’s healthcare system. His views have crossed party lines, which is what undecided voters normally look for.
Based on the realities under Cuomo’s administration, I think the New York State Republican Party should recruit Former Governor Pataki to run in 2022 against Governor Cuomo. He would be their party’s strongest contender, being a former Governor, and providing strong leadership during 9/11. While he has been out of the political arena for almost 13 years, and tried to jumpstart a campaign for President in 2016, the Republicans have the best candidate right in front of them.
It is vital for our State that Cuomo lowers taxes, or that someone steps in and ousts him in 2022. Right now, I think our best option to pass such an action is George Pataki.