ALBANY – Republican State Sen. Mark Grisanti on Thursday sought to downplay expectations that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo might cross party lines to endorse his re-election campaign.
“No, not at all. I’ve had no conversations with Governor Cuomo,” Grisanti said about endorsement discussions.
The senator’s comments came in an interview shortly before Gannett News in Albany reported that Cuomo on Thursday endorsed a Hudson Valley Republican senator, Steve Saland from Poughkeepsie.
Saland and Grisanti were two of four Republicans to break party lines to back Cuomo’s signature policy bill of 2011, the legalization of same-sex marriage. One of the other two GOP senators is retiring and another lost in the September primaries.
“I don’t know if the governor is going to come out and do an actual endorsement,” Grisanti said.
Cuomo already has returned political favors for Grisanti, including approving new Senate district lines last spring giving Grisanti fewer Democratic voters to have to woo in next month’s elections.
Grisanti also noted the TV ads supporting his campaign – that have been heavily running for weeks in Buffalo – with a smiling and Grisanti-hugging Cuomo at a bill signing event.
“I’m assuming my campaign got permission. I’m sure my campaign made the governor aware,” he said of the Cuomo-featured ad.
Grisanti’s opponents include Democrat Mike Amodeo and Charles Swanick on the Conservative Party line.
Earlier this week, Cuomo told reporters that he would endorse both Democrats and Republicans this fall. “I endorse people who I believe are in the best interests of the state of New York,” Cuomo said.
A week earlier, responding to a story in The Buffalo News, a top Cuomo adviser publicly lashed out at Amodeo for taking positions opposing parts of Cuomo’s property tax cap law and new changes hiking pension costs for new government employees. Without mentioning Amodeo by name, but while answering the question of a Buffalo News reporter, Cuomo criticized Democrats “who have gone out of their way” to say they oppose his policies. “Well, then,” he said, “I’m not going to support you.”