NEW YORK – As Columbia University law professor Tim Wu continued to portray himself as the real progressive in the race for lieutenant governor, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s choice for the job – former Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul of Buffalo – hit the campaign trail Tuesday with one of New York City’s progressive heroes: Chirlane McCray, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife.
Speaking at the St. Louis Senior Center in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights, McCray – a key figure in de Blasio’s upset win in a Democratic primary a year ago – said of Hochul: “She’s been working for people like you and like me for almost 30 years now. I know she’s going to do a terrific job if we can just get her in Albany, right there with Andrew Cuomo, so she can be his partner in fighting the good fight.”
McCray, who is African-American, appeared with Hochul at two stops in Brooklyn, lending her liberal bona fides to a candidate whom the New York Times – in an editorial endorsing Wu – labeled as a conservative.
Hochul said the boost from the mayor’s wife would help her campaign.
“It’s significant,” Hochul told reporters. “We walk into these senior centers, and she’s a rock star.”
McCray called Hochul “a fantastic person,” but you wouldn’t hear such words coming from Wu, who released a video on Tuesday that contrasted Hochul’s conservative comments while serving as a member of the House with her current insistence that she’s a progressive in step with Cuomo.
“I would charge that she is fundamentally misrepresenting her record at this point,” Wu said in a conference call with reporters.
In an interview, though, Hochul insisted that there was no contradiction in her congressional record supporting Obamacare while voting to repeal parts of it, nor in her receiving the National Rifle Association’s endorsement during her congressional race while now supporting Cuomo’s SAFE Act.
There’s been a key constant throughout her career, she added.
“I’ve always stood for working people,” Hochul said.
While Hochul was touring Brooklyn senior centers with McCray, Wu – who has waged a surprisingly strong challenge to Hochul prior to next Tuesday’s Democratic primary – unveiled an endorsement from another progressive hero: former New York City public advocate Mark Green.
Green endorsed both Wu and his running mate, Zephyr Teachout, who is challenging Cuomo.
“I’m struck by Tim’s theory that the lieutenant governor can be not just stand-by equipment for a governor but a ‘statewide public advocate’ reviewing the performance of state agencies, as the city public advocate does in the five boroughs,” Green said.
In response, Wu said he “will be looking to Mark Green for guidance and support” if he becomes lieutenant governor.