Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown has withdrawn from consideration as a candidate for lieutenant governor this year, according to a source close to the situation.
The source, who asked not to be identified, said the mayor spoke with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday evening to request that he no longer be considered.
“He talked to the governor and asked that his name be withdrawn,” the source said.
Cuomo is expected to announce his choice this afternoon at the State Democratic Convention in Melville, Suffolk County.
Brown had been viewed as a top candidate to replace departing Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy, who earlier this month announced he would not run with Cuomo for a second term.
The mayor was considered a prime candidate because of his executive experience as leader of the state’s second-largest city, his past Albany tenure as a state senator and his ability to bring ethnic and geographic balance to the ticket.
But another source also indicated that over the last two days Brown – who earlier was thought to be more than interested in the post – was becoming “less enamored” with the idea. In addition, the source said, Brown was being urged to remain in Buffalo and preside over progress in the city and serve out remainder of his third term.
Cuomo has kept his choice for lieutenant governor under close guard, with few sources let in on his decision.
Cuomo, sources close to the governor have said over the last week, settled on a running mate quite a while ago with a chief attribute: loyalty.
Who exactly that is, however, insiders close to the governor were not saying Tuesday night, but they ranged – and it was a big range – from former Syracuse Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll to Cesar A. Perales, Cuomo’s secretary of state, who has worked for everyone from then-President Jimmy Carter to then-Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, the governor’s father.
There is also a list of a half-dozen or more names in the mix, from politicians who can help Cuomo with ethnic and geographic considerations to business executives.
Brown is said to have pushed hard to get his name in the mix, but it was not to be, according to Democratic Party insiders.
Another Western New York Democrat – former Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul, who is a top executive with M&T Bank – was described as being “too independent” by a number of Democrats to serve under Cuomo.
Cuomo is running against Republican Rob Astorino, who last week chose as his running mate Christopher J. Moss, the Chemung County sheriff and the first African-American to run on a statewide GOP line in New York State.
The governor’s schedule for today lists him as being in New York City, although Democrats attending the first day of the party’s convention expect he could show up in the afternoon to end what has turned into a year of speculation over his lieutenant governor selection.
While the lieutenant governor has little in the way of duties beyond ceremonial, Albany’s recent history – such as the rise of David A. Paterson after the resignation of Eliot L. Spitzer – have put an increased spotlight on the job.