NEW YORK — State Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs on Wednesday evening doubled down on his endorsement of Gov. Kathy Hochul, pointing to a ticking political clock, as well as her credibility with moderates and long track record of loyalty to the party.

With the primary for governor to be held in June for the first time (as opposed to in September in the past), and the Biden administration facing a potentially challenging midterm election season, Jacobs emphasized the need for Democrats to consolidate behind a candidate with a wide appeal to New York voters.

“My goal is to ensure that we don’t have a wild mess of a primary, or series of primaries,” Jacobs said in an interview with “Inside City Hall” anchor Errol Louis. “2022 is going to be a tough year.”

While New York is unlikely to flip to a Republican, given Democrats have a major registration advantage and a GOP candidate for governor hasn’t won the state since 2002, Jacobs cited caution as a reason he doesn’t want to see a nasty Democratic primary.

“Let’s look at the races right now in Virginia, and even New Jersey, that have become a little tighter than they should have in this year,” Jacobs said. “When you have a new president in his first midterm, crazy things happen.”

When asked by NY1 what distinguishes Hochul from other potential candidates —  including state Attorney General Letitia James, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, and Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi — Jacobs said the sitting governor has already proved her leadership skills in her short time in office. And, of the names floated as potential candidates, Jacobs said he didn’t see much daylight in terms of policy.

Recently, Jacobs made headlines after he revealed he gave former Gov. Andrew Cuomo a heads up about his decision to back Hochul. Jacobs on Wednesday once again described it as a courtesy call, and said Cuomo did not mention anything to him about a potential run.

Jacobs, who called on Cuomo to resign after James released a report substantiating multiple claims of sexual harassment against Cuomo, went on to say that he would be concerned if the former governor runs and that it would be a “mistake.”

Meanwhile, Jacobs, whom Cuomo appointed to his job and whose term ends in September 2022, said he would step aside if Hochul wants someone else to take his position.


Watch the full interview above.


Did you know you can now watch, read and stay informed with NY1 wherever and whenever you want? Get the new Spectrum News app here.


Looking for an easy way to learn about the issues affecting New York City?

Listen to our "Off Topic/On Politics" podcast: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | iHeartRadio | Stitcher | RSS


Facebook Twitter