New Yorkers are faced with an interesting race as they contemplate the normally uninteresting campaign for lieutenant governor. The candidates are former Congresswoman and Erie County Clerk Kathleen C. Hochul and Timothy Wu, a Columbia University law professor who is a political novice. Wu’s utter lack of political experience is just one of the reasons that Democrats should support Hochul in the September primary.

First among those reasons is that Hochul will be an advocate for Western New York at this critical time in our history. Unlike Wu, she has strongly supported the governor’s economic initiatives that are transforming Buffalo Niagara. She also is eminently qualified to take over as governor. Wu is, in that regard, the left’s version of Sarah Palin: unqualified for the main purpose of the office but attractive to party stalwarts who want nothing more than someone to parrot their own views.

Finally, the election of Wu would create an intolerable conflict for anyone who wants New York to be governed well. Because of New York’s strange election rules, while Wu is the running mate of Zephyr Teachout, it is plausible that he could end up running with Cuomo, whom he has been criticizing. If that happens, he would be of zero use to New Yorkers in general and Western New Yorkers in particular.

Teachout has virtually no chance of defeating Cuomo, and candidates for chief executive – state or nation – should be allowed their choice of running mate. With Cuomo the overwhelming favorite, voters should also support Hochul, the candidate who is actually qualified for the job.