What will legal cannabis sales look like in New York City? Not even the biggest dispensary chain in the US knows.

People walk past the Weed World store on March 31, 2021, in Midtown New York
People walk past the Weed World store on March 31, 2021, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Despite the shop’s name, it doesn’t sell any products containing THC.

  • As of March 31, 2021, cannabis became legal in New York City.
  • It’s still unclear when legal sales of cannabis will begin in America’s biggest market.
  • “We don’t know…and not just on the timeline,” Curaleaf exec Patrik Jonsson told Insider.

Cannabis has been legal in New York City since the end of March, but there’s still no way to legally purchase it.

What is expected to be America’s largest cannabis market is still stuck in limbo as New York legislators hammer out the details.

When will consumers be able to walk into a store and buy cannabis?

“We don’t know, we don’t know,” Patrik Jonsson, northeast regional president at Curaleaf, told Insider. “And not just on the timeline, but also what we’re going to be allowed to do,” he said.

Curaleaf is among the top cannabis MSOs, or multi-state operators, in the United States, according to The Motley Fool. It has over 100 dispensaries in 23 states, including New York State where it operates several medical dispensaries.

Jonsson is responsible for overseeing Curaleaf’s business in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Vermont. He said working on New York City right now is “kind of a moving target,” because it’s impossible to plan for the future without knowing what the regulations will be.

“We’re kind of hedging our bets on how big, how small, how quick,” Jonsson said. “‘Cause none of that is set in stone. We don’t know if we’re allowed to be in one location. Are we allowed two locations? Can it be three locations?”

People in line at Rocky Mountain Cannabis Store, a cannabis dispensary in Dinosaur, Colorado.
In Colorado, cannabis has been legal and regulated for sale in stores since January 2014.

Cannabis laws vary dramatically from state to state, and New York is in a unique position where two of the surrounding states (New Jersey and Connecticut) are concurrently writing their own regulation on adult cannabis use.

In New York, for instance, only existing medical cannabis producers – like Curaleaf – will be able to both cultivate and sell cannabis. New entrants to the recreational market will have to choose to either cultivate or sell, not both.

But without knowing what type of retail stores will be allowed, how many will be allowed, and how they’ll operate – to say nothing of not knowing when they’ll be able to open for business – potential retailers are being more careful before diving in.

“Obviously the prices are pretty steep in a place like Manhattan,” Jonsson said. “So, we’re looking for locations, but we’re also going to be strategic on how do we hold that location without knowing for sure if it’s a location we’re actually going to be able to use. That’s a game that all the current operators are looking at.”

Manhattan retail was hit particularly hard during the height of the COVID pandemic, with tourism and commuters simultaneously disappearing from major sections of midtown and downtown Manhattan. Chains like Starbucks closed dozens of stores, many small businesses shuttered for good, and some new entrants are using that as an opportunity to get a foothold in New York City.

It’s unclear if cannabis dispensaries will be able to take advantage of the current glut of open Manhattan retail space.

Jonsson said that Curaleaf is currently anticipating retail sales to open in New York starting in early 2023, but he’s hoping it’ll be sooner given Gov. Kathy Hochul’s recent fast-tracking initiative and subsequent council appointments.

When asked last week by Insider senior politics reporter Jake Lahut when retail cannabis sales will begin, Hochul declined to comment. In a follow up email, deputy communications director for economic development Jason Gough similarly declined to offer a timeline.

“We will continue to work expeditiously to bring this new industry to life safely,” Gough said.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Former Human Rights Campaign head threatens ‘legal challenge’ after being fired over accusations of involvement in Cuomo sexual-harassment scandal

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is welcomed to the stage by HRC President Alphonso David during the Human Rights Campaign's 19th Annual Greater New York Gala at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on February 01, 2020 in New York City.
Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David (right).

  • The Human Rights Campaign board ousted its president, Alphonso David, on Sunday.
  • David is now threatening a “legal challenge” to what he argues was an unjust dismissal.
  • David advised Cuomo as an attorney, but did not disclose that work to his employer, per The Times.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

After the board of the Human Rights Campaign fired him as president over the weekend, Alphonso David is threatening to take legal action.

David, 50, was the first civil rights attorney and the first person of color to lead the organization.

His standing within the HRC began to turn when he was mentioned in New York Attorney General Letitia James’s bombshell 165-page report corroborating allegations of sexual harassment from 11 women against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

David advised Cuomo as an attorney, but did not disclose that work to his employer, with an HRC report on his role in the Cuomo scandal finding that he had a conflict of interest, according to The New York Times.

David advised the Cuomo legal team on how to discredit an accuser by drafting a letter that would undermine her credibility, the report found. David also distributed a memo on the accuser’s work history to Cuomo staff, and encouraged them to sign onto the letter even though he claimed he would not do so himself.

Over the weekend, before he was fired, David refused to resign and claimed the HRC’s investigation into the Cuomo scandal found no wrongdoing on his part and was complete, despite the HRC contradicting him and saying the report was not finished yet, according to The Washington Post.

At midnight on Monday morning, David responded to his dismissal with a screenshot statement on Twitter.

“As a Black, gay man who has spent his whole life fighting for civil and human rights, they cannot shut me up,” he wrote. “Expect a legal challenge.”

David, like other Cuomo allies, has continued to deny any wrongdoing in the sexual harassment scandal.

Other prominent figures close to Cuomo have left their jobs in the wake of several scandals that ultimately brought the governor down.

Roberta Kaplan stepped down as chairwoman of Time’s Up, the legal defense fund that gained prominence during the height of the #MeToo movement, for helping advise Cuomo on how to respond to the harassment allegations.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been stripped of his International Emmy Award after resigning amid a sexual harassment scandal

cuomo impeachment lawmaker comments
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is under increasing pressure from fellow Democrats.

  • Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been stripped of his International Emmy award.
  • An Emmy’s spokesperson told Insider they do not handle any return of the physical trophy.
  • Cuomo won the award last year for his daily COVID-19 briefings.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s International Emmy Founders Award was rescinded on Tuesday.

In a statement released on Tuesday morning, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said it was striking the record of Cuomo being an Emmy winner.

“The International Academy announced today that in light of the New York Attorney General’s report, and Andrew Cuomo’s subsequent resignation as Governor, it is rescinding his special 2020 International Emmy Award,” the Academy said in their statement.

Cuomo won the International Emmy Founders Award for “effective communication and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the International Academy said in 2020. His daily coronavirus briefings were the major source of his star turn during the pandemic.

Now his name will be wiped from all Emmy communications and historical lists.

An Emmy’s spokesperson told Insider that they do not have a say in whether Cuomo returns the physical trophy, and referred a reporter to the Academy, who did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Many conservative media outlets blasted Cuomo for winning the award, and it became a source of frequent scorn on Fox News.

In his farewell speech on Monday, Cuomo made one final jab at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio before signing off.

He has not been heard from ever since tweeting about not abandoning his dog, Captain, following an Albany Times Union report about him leaving the rescue pet behind in the governor’s mansion.

Cuomo’s spokesman did not respond to Insider’s request for comment on whether the former governor will be returning the trophy.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Cuomo takes one final shot at his nemesis Bill de Blasio before leaving office in disgrace

cuomo de blasio feud part xvi 2x1
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

  • The longstanding feud between Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio saw one last jab on Monday.
  • In Cuomo’s final speech as governor, he insulted the NYC mayor.
  • Cuomo said mayoral nominee Eric Adams will bring “competence to the position.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

After nearly eight years of petty slights and territorial spats, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo couldn’t help adding one more insult to his feud with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio during his farewell address on Monday.

Cuomo made misleading statements about the sexual harassment allegations against him being uncorroborated, played the hits on his pandemic response, and rattled off what he sees as his biggest accomplishments before taking aim at de Blasio one last time while in office.

The governor presented the prerecorded speech before officially stepping down at midnight following his resignation announcement on August 10.

“Eric Adams will be the next mayor of New York City,” Cuomo said, referring to the Brooklyn borough president and former police officer who still has to win the general election in November. “I think he’ll bring a new philosophy and competence to the position.”

The outgoing governor left little room for interpretation with the mention of “competence.”

After years of taking Cuomo’s attacks on the chin, de Blasio began to fight back more fiercely in late 2020 and early 2021.

The term-limited mayor said Cuomo’s “bullying is nothing new” in a TV appearance back in February, and as the governor’s several ongoing scandals escalated, de Blasio became increasingly vocal about his frustrations.

Mayor de Blasio’s staff also threw some shots in, with his press secretary saying “serial sexual assaulter says what?” when asked about allegations against Cuomo.

The precise origins of the feud have remain unknown, with Cuomo and de Blasio carrying out an uneventful relationship from their time together at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) until de Blasio won the 2013 NYC mayoral race.

As time went on with the pair in office, tense joint appearances were replaced by one of the two holding an event hours before the other, often with each lawmaker contradicting the other on specific policy issues. This came to a head during the pandemic, when de Blasio would signal one public health response only to have Cuomo undermine him with a state directive.

Cuomo and de Blasio were notably at odds over whether to issue a shelter in place order at the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Big Apple.

The governor even reportedly kept a dartboard with de Blasio’s face on it, but since it was located by the pool of the governor’s mansion, the dartboard – and possibly his dog, Captain – will need a new home now that Cuomo is moving out.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Andrew Cuomo will be the subject of an off-Broadway musical written by a political consultant he prosecuted and put in prison

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to the media at a news conference in Manhattan on May 5, 2021 in New York City.
Outgoing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

  • An off-Broadway musical about NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been green lit for previews in the fall.
  • ‘A Turtle on a Fence Post’ was written by a political consultant while he was in prison.
  • The writer, Hank Morris, was prosecuted by Cuomo while he was NY attorney general.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

There aren’t many opportunities for Andrew Cuomo and Alexander Hamilton to be mentioned in the same conversation, but both are now subjects of musicals.

An off-Broadway musical titled “A Turtle on a Fence Post” will debut for previews by late October in Manhattan, Variety reported on Thursday.

“The play is based on true events, but it’s a fictionalized version of my journey and what happened to me and how it changed me,” political consultant and newly minted playwright Hank Morris told Variety. “The principal antagonist in the play is a bullying governor named Andrew Cuomo.”

By the end of next Monday at the stroke of midnight, Cuomo will no longer be governor following his resignation announcement amid a sexual harassment scandal.

Morris was prosecuted by Cuomo in 2010 over a pension fraud pay-to-play scheme.

While in prison, Morris began writing the musical. The script was written under the pseudonym “Prisoner #11RO731,” according to Variety.

The setting of the play will be “in a comedy club and a correctional institution, while telling the story of the rise and fall of one of New York’s most powerful men,” according to the report.

“Political insiders knew the story, but the general public is going to be more open to hearing my story and hearing what he’s capable of,” Morris told Variety.

Morris was granted parole after serving over two years in a state correctional facility and 13 days in the infamous Rikers Island jail.

“The show has a universal message,” the playwright told Variety. “To me the message is life’s pretty good no matter how many twists and turns you experience and you should make the best of it. You’re lucky to be here. The second message is that we all make our own prisons and we’re the only ones who can set ourselves free.”

Previews will begin on Oct. 26, with the full premiere set for Nov. 14.

Read the original article on Business Insider

New York lawmakers mull renaming the Mario Cuomo Bridge following Andrew’s resignation announcement

New York governor Andrew Cuomo drives a 1955 Chevrolet Corvette with World War II veteran Armando "Chick" Gallela, during a dedication ceremony for the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge that is to replace the current Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York, U.S., August 24, 2017.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (right).

  • One of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proudest accomplishments may be undone.
  • State and local lawmakers are looking at renaming the Mario Cuomo Bridge.
  • Cuomo’s impending resignation and multiple scandals prompted the move.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s father once said the only thing he ever wanted named after him was “a stickball court in a little alley in Queens.”

Following his son’s resignation announcement and the looming end of the Cuomo era in Albany, the late governor’s wish may come true.

A bill has been revived in the state legislature that would change the name of the nearly $4 billion Mario Cuomo Bridge back to it its original one, according to Spectrum News.

The Tappan Zee Bridge was demolished after the completion of the Mario Cuomo Bridge, but right from the start in 2017, lawmakers in the lower Hudson Valley were not pleased with the governor naming the new span after his father.

Still referred to by locals as the Tappan Zee, the old name combined the name of the Native American tribe in the region (Tappan) with the Dutch word for sea (Zee).

The east anchor span of the old Tappan Zee Bridge is demolished by explosives into the Hudson River in front of the new Mario Cuomo Bridge in Tarrytown, New York, U.S., January 15, 2019.
The east anchor span of the old Tappan Zee Bridge is demolished by explosives into the Hudson River in front of the new Mario Cuomo Bridge in Tarrytown, New York, U.S., January 15, 2019.

The bridge was also the subject of one of the scandals plaguing Cuomo’s third term, with “structural issues” – including snapping bolts – allegedly being covered up by the private contractor in charge of its construction.

Amid Cuomo’s downfall, there appears to be a renewed and bigger push for the name change, even among Democrats, according to Spectrum News.

Republicans have also been eager to bring up some of their longstanding grievances again.

“If he could have named it the Andrew Cuomo Bridge, he would have, but he couldn’t, and so he settled for Mario,” Assemblyman Mike Lawler, a Rockland County Republican, told Spectrum. “So I think it’s really time to get the Cuomo name off the bridge and revert it back to the Tappan Zee.”

“Given the governor’s conduct and the scandals swirling around him, both the sexual harassment and the nursing home scandal, as well as his $5.1 million blood money book deal, I think now is the right time to change the name back,” Lawler added.

State Sen. James Skoufis, an Orange County Democrat, introduced a bill alongside the one to rename the bridge that would deny Cuomo the $50,000 per year pension he’s set to receive upon leaving office.

“If it’s good enough for the entry level state employee, it should be good enough for the governor of New York state,” Skoufis said of the bill, which is technically a constitutional amendment.

Back in 2017, Cuomo defended naming the bridge after his father.

“One day this bridge will no longer exist,” Cuomo said, “and if they build a new bridge – well this bridge is supposed to last 100 years, or we get a discount – if it comes down then they’ll build a new bridge and name it after somebody else.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

New York lawmakers reverse course, announce they’ll finish Cuomo impeachment probe and release a final report

Cuomo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York.

  • Top New York legislative Democrats will complete their impeachment investigation of Gov. Cuomo.
  • State Assembly leaders are reversing course after initially stating they would suspend the probe.
  • Cuomo will resign from office effective August 25 over sexual harassment allegations.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Top Democrats in the New York state legislature will complete their impeachment investigation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, reversing course after announcing they’d suspend the impeachment probe on Friday due to Cuomo’s imminent resignation from office.

“The Assembly Judiciary Committee will continue to review evidence and issue a final report on its investigation of Governor Cuomo,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblyman Charles Levine, chair of the chamber’s Judiciary Committee, said in a Monday statement.

“In doing so, the committee will take all appropriate steps to ensure that this effort does not interfere with various ongoing investigations by the United States Attorney concerning nursing home data; the attorney general concerning the Governor’s memoir; and local law enforcement authorities in five jurisdictions…concerning allegations of sexual harassment,” the statement continued.

Cuomo announced he plans to resign from office, effective August 25, after a bombshell report by independent investigators hired by the New York attorney general’s office concluded that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women as governor.

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will take over as governor upon Cuomo’s resignation.

The impeachment probe, which is separate from the attorney general’s investigation, is examining the sexual harassment allegations, whether the Cuomo administration deliberately undercounted and covered up nursing home deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, and if Cuomo abused state resources to write a book on his handling of the pandemic.

As Heastie’s and Levine’s statement noted, those matters are also the subject of other civil and criminal investigations at the federal, state, and local levels.

State assembly leaders initially stated that they would shutter the impeachment investigation, launched in March, and turn their findings over to law enforcement. The move drew criticism from Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennet, who said Heastie was “taking the coward’s way out.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Incoming New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she’s not ruling out a statewide vaccine mandate

New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul speaks during a news conference the day after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation at the New York State Capitol, in Albany, New York, U.S., August 11, 2021.
Incoming New York Governor Kathy Hochul

  • Kathy Hochul, NY’s incoming governor, said she’s not yet ruling out the possibility of mandating a statewide vaccine for indoor activities.
  • “I’m open to all options,” she told CNN Sunday. “I’ll be looking at the possibility of mandates.”
  • She also said she supports mandating the wearing of face masks for children in school.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Kathy Hochul, New York’s incoming governor, on Sunday said she’s not ruling out the possibility of mandating a statewide vaccine for indoor activities amid a surge in COVID-19 cases brought about by the Delta variant.

“I’m open to all options,” she told CNN’s State of the Union. “I’ll be looking at the possibility of mandates, but not saying they’re in or out until I know all the facts.”

Hochul, 62, who takes over the position of Gov. Andrew Cuomo by the end of August following his resignation, said she’s assembling a team of experts to help her layout all scenarios and is planning to discuss the situation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well.

“I want to bring the best and the brightest to deal with this,” she told CNN, explaining how she plans to strategize her policy to curb the spread of the virus.

She did clarify that she supports mandating the wearing of face masks for children in school ahead of the fall class opening.

“This is something that I believe has to occur to make sure that our teachers are safe, the administrators are safe,” she told CNN. “I’m a mom. I know how this feels. I will get this right.”

As for mandating vaccines for teachers, she said she does not have the executive power to do that.

“I’m willing to speak to our legislative leaders and to take whatever action I need to protect people,” Hochul told CNN.

The sitting lieutenant governor highlighted how the situation continues to change, which is why she wants to avoid making “hard and fast rules” only to reverse them the following month. She did reiterate how her main goal is to get more people vaccinated.

Currently, around 75% of New Yorkers above 18 years old have received at least one dose.

Hochul also expressed openness to speak with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I want to roll up my sleeves and sit down with the mayor of New York – the current and the incoming mayors -and say, let’s solve the scale,” she told CNN. “How about doing it together and not in competition.”

Cuomo and de Blasio have had an ongoing feud ever since the mayor took office in 2014.

As for Cuomo’s sexual harassment scandal and suspended impeachment investigation, Hochul said she will not allow herself to be distracted.

“I’ll be laser-focused on dealing with COVID, getting our economy back, getting kids back in schools, and dealing with a whole host of other challenges that I’m prepared for,” she said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Charlotte Bennett blasts NY Assembly over taking ‘the coward’s way out’ in dropping Cuomo impeachment

computer screen Carl Heastie
New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie looks at his computer screen.

  • Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennett put the NY Assembly on blast for dropping its impeachment inquiry.
  • Once Cuomo leaves office, impeachment becomes constitutionally void.
  • However, nothing was stopping lawmakers from making their findings public.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie was the subject of a scathing statement from Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennett on Sunday.

Bennett, a former aide in the governor’s office and a 25-year-old graduate of Hamilton College, was one of the most influential figures in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s downfall after she came out as the second woman to accuse him of sexual harassment while in his employ.

After Cuomo announced he would leave office the week after next, the Assembly dropped its impeachment probe and decided not to make the findings public.

Constitutionally, Cuomo could not be impeached upon leaving office. The timeline would have involved the Senate waiting at least 30 days after articles of impeachment were filed to begin the trial for removal.

Since no articles were introduced yet, Cuomo’s resignation announcement left the proceedings in limbo.

However, nothing was stopping Heastie from making the investigation’s findings public and he called it off before the impeachment committee was set to meet on Monday.

“The speaker can’t muster enough courage to simply do his job,” Bennett wrote in her statement. “After spending millions of taxpayer dollars and issuing lofty statements, he’s failed to lift a finger to make clear that New York rejects Cuomo’s behavior.”

Another issue with the impeachment investigation getting called off is that a conviction would have barred Cuomo from running for state office ever again.

He is still sitting on a nearly $20 million campaign war chest with strict regulations over where the money can be transferred.

Heastie came under intensifying criticism over the spring and summer for slow rolling the impeachment investigation. The committee only met on a handful of occasions.

A Bronx Democrat, Heastie also remained one of the least forceful in his condemnations of Cuomo’s alleged sexual misconduct, which included several accusations of groping that were corroborated by the 165-page report from New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Heastie only called on Cuomo to resign hours after the report was released, and well after scores of other lawmakers called on the governor to step aside or reiterated earlier calls to the same effect.

Bennett wrote that Heastie took “the coward’s way out” in calling off the probe.

“Employing a lazy legal argument and offering a poorly reasoned memo, the Speaker has taken the coward’s way out,” Bennett wrote.

“The Speaker has greatly miscalculated the commitment New Yorkers have to justice, accountability and transparency,” she later continued. “We see you, Carl Heastie, and we aren’t going anywhere.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Incoming New York Gov. Kathy Hochul says she plans to run for a full term in 2022

Kathy Hochul raises her arms at her first press conference since Andrew Cuomo resigned as New York governor.
New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

  • New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced her plans on Thursday to seek a full term in 2022.
  • Hochul will take over for outgoing Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 12 days.
  • A moderate from Western New York, Hochul could face a primary challenge from the left.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

New York’s 2022 gubernatorial race has been wide open ever since outgoing Gov. Andrew Cuomo was engulfed in multiple scandals.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will take over Cuomo’s post in 12 days, and on Thursday announced her plans to seek a full term in 2022.

Hochul made the announcement during an interview on NBC’s “Today Show.”

“Yes, I will,” she said when asked about the upcoming election.

The Buffalonian punted on the question during her first press conference on Wednesday since Cuomo announced his resignation on Tuesday.

Cuomo’s announcement came exactly a week after New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the findings of an inquiry into Cuomo by independent investigators for her office. They found he sexually harassed 11 women, including members of his staff.

Once Cuomo steps down, a new generation of younger and more progressive Democrats could be ushered in now that the nearly half-century Cuomo family dynasty is ending.

Hochul’s name recognition remains low, with nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers saying they have never heard of her, according to the latest poll from Marist College.

Hailing from Western New York, Hochul has carved out her political career as a moderate. She burst onto the scene in 2011 when she flipped a Republican-controlled House seat, and previously came out against key progressive policies such as ensuring drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Hochul on Wednesday addressed how her views have changed on that particular policy.

“Our immigrants need that,” Hochul told Josefa Velásquez of The City during a news conference in Albany. “They need to be able to get to their jobs and parents need to take kids to doctor’s appointments.”

While Hochul boasts extensive contacts from her travels across the state as lieutenant governor and even going as far back as her tenure in the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s office, she does not yet have a base of voters in New York City and on Long Island.

Months ago, when it became clear that Cuomo was on the ropes, rumors began circulating about a progressive primary challenge to the governor in 2022.

Hochul may have to contend with one and possibly multiple opponents once the campaigns get going.

On the Republican side, Rep. Lee Zeldin of Long Island is backed by almost the entire state GOP establishment, while Rudy Giuliani’s son, Andrew Giuliani, and former Cuomo opponent Rob Asterino are also making a bid for the seat.

Read the original article on Business Insider