Fulton and Montgomery Dems urge Cuomo to step down | News, Sports, Jobs
On Saturday, 51 New York state-level Democratic Party committees – including the Fulton and Montgomery County Democratic Committees – met in a joint statement calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step down following the l The state attorney general’s investigation that said at least 11 women accused him of sexual harassment behavior.
“We thank him for his years of service in the great state of New York, to which we all know he is dear, but demand that he resign immediately,” he added. reads the joint statement. “It is time to move on.”
Montgomery County Democratic Committee Chairman Terry Bieniek was among 51 County Democratic Committee leaders who co-signed the statement.
“I believe Governor Cuomo has done great things for the state and the Democratic Party, but his ability to lead has been tarnished by his actions,” Bieniek said in an additional statement provided for this story. “For this reason, I think he should resign immediately. I’m confident [Lt. Gov.] Kathy Hochul will be excellent as the new governor.
All those Democratic County Committee Chairs in the Greater Capital Region, in addition to Bieniek, signed the Joint Declaration: Jake Crawford [Albany], Ed Jasewicz [Fulton], Michael Monescalchi [Rensselaer], Todd Kerner [Saratoga], Joe Landry [Schenectady] and Lynne Boecher [Warren].
The Schoharie County Democratic Committee was one of 11 county Democratic Party committees that had not signed the statement demanding Cuomo’s resignation on Sunday. Other Democratic county committees not included in the declaration are: Allegany, Cayuga, Franklin, Lewis, Nassau, Niagara, Onondaga, Otsego, Queens and Schuyler.
Fulton County Democratic Election Commissioner Jerry Ryan – also a member of the Fulton County Democratic Committee – said 21 of the 26 members of the Fulton County Democratic Committee voted by email on Wednesday to ask Cuomo to resign, the other five members not responding to the email vote. He said none of the committee members defended Cuomo.
“We thought waiting for the attorney general’s report was the most important thing for all of us to do, and we did, but when that came out it kind of turned the tide,” he said. “From my point of view, it would really be a big mistake for the governor to stay in office, but also to stand for re-election. I think it would be very damaging to the State Democratic Party. “
In a press release, Fulton County Democratic President Ed Jasewicz said committee members expressed mutual outrage at the governor’s behavior, as reported in the New State Attorney General’s report. York, Letitia James, published August 3.
James’ report alleged from 2013 to 2020, Cuomo sexually harassed 11 different women with alleged behavior including: unwanted and inappropriate touching, fumbling, kissing, cuddling, and comments accusers called “deeply humiliating”, “uncomfortable”, “offensive” or “inappropriate.” The report alleged that Cuomo’s administration created a hostile working environment in the executive chamber “Plagued by fear and intimidation.”
Cuomo has so far refused to resign, and he and his attorneys have categorically denied some of the accusations and said some of his words or actions in some of the alleged scenarios may have been misinterpreted.
Ryan said members of the Fulton County Democratic Committee wanted to hold “their dry powder” regarding the allegations against Cuomo until James’ report made it clear how many accusers made the allegations against him.
“Where there is so much smoke, there is usually fire” Ryan said. “We just want a flag bearer to run for governor the next time around who is a credible candidate who is not involved in any of these kinds of accusations. I do not know if [Lt. Gov.] Kathy Hochul will run for office or not, whether she becomes governor if the governor resigns or is impeached, but she would be a very good candidate.
Ryan said Gloversville City Democratic Committee chair Robin Wentworth was among 21 Fulton County Democratic Committee members who voted to demand Cuomo’s resignation.
Wentworth in March, after some of Cuomo’s accusers came forward, posted a statement on social media describing a meeting she had with Cuomo in 2010 when he visited the Johnstown-Gloversville Holiday Inn while he was campaigning for his first term as governor.
“I was asked to be part of the group to greet him and I was asked to introduce him before he spoke to the crowd. Wentworth wrote in his written social statement. “We were placed in an office at the Holiday Inn and briefed by his staff prior to his arrival, then the group met him before he spoke to the crowd. I remember after being introduced to him I reached out to shake his hand and he leaned over and asked me if it was okay to kiss my cheek (which took completely by surprise). I think I said yes because I remember him holding my hand and kissing my cheek.
Wentworth did not agree to a telephone interview about the social media post in March and deleted the post, but answered a few questions about it via a social media messaging program. She said she didn’t believe her interaction with Cuomo was motivated by anything sexual, but said the allegations by Cuomo’s accusers should be taken seriously.
“I think it was just [a] hi from him to me. As far as I know he may have greeted others the same way that night ”, she wrote in a message. “Believe me, if I felt it was sexual in nature, I would speak with the attorney general. I take these things very seriously and believe they need to be dealt with properly.
Wentworth did not return a phone call asking for comment on this story.