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Whose politics are the most complicated?

For decades, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo believed New York City held the distinction. Then Tim Russert persuaded him Buffalo deserved the nod.

Before working as Washington bureau chief for NBC News and host of “Meet the Press,” Russert served as communications director for Cuomo’s father, former Gov. Mario M. Cuomo.

Asked about the state of Democratic politics here during a visit Thursday to The Buffalo News, Cuomo related how Russert, when he worked for his father, took him around Buffalo and gave him an insider’s education about the city.

“He knew everyone,” Cuomo said of Russert, who died in 2008.

“Russert used to say that Buffalo had the most complicated politics in the state. I disagreed, and we had this running argument. Thirty years later I can say he was right,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo, however, characterized the politics as more contentious historically than complicated.

There always was someone who didn’t get along with someone else.

That has changed, he contended.

“You’re seeing the greatest unified front that you have ever seen,” he said, referring to the relationship between himself, Mayor Byron Brown and County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.

email: hdavis@buffnews.com