Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro won the Republican nomination for New York governor on Wednesday, while Hillary Clinton endorsed the current governor at the Democratic Party's convention.


Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo
Former Secretary of State and former Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, left, is greeted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo after speaking during the New York state Democratic convention after being greeted by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Hempstead, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed more than 95 percent of the votes cast by delegates to become the official preferred candidate at the convention, securing his spot on the Democratic primary ballot Sept. 13.

"We really do have the anti-Washington agenda," Cuomo told reporters following his nomination at the convention on Long Island. "This was really an overwhelming show of support, frankly more than I expected."

His challengers from his left, actor and activist Cynthia Nixon, received only a smattering of votes — and a few boos — in the nomination process. She can still appear on the Democratic primary ticket by collecting voter signatures; she will appear on the November ballot as the nominee of the left-leaning Working Families Party.

Clinton, the keynote speaker at the convention Wednesday, praised Cuomo, endorsed his bid for a third term, and did not mention Nixon.


The former "Sex and the City" star had told reporters that she was not expecting to garner the needed 25 percent of the delegation vote to also win an automatic spot on the ballot, but decided to come anyway.

Asked about Clinton's support for Cuomo, Nixon said voters won't make their decisions based on endorsements.

"Andrew Cuomo can get all the endorsements he wants," she said. "I think at the end of the day, voters vote on peoples' records, not on surrogates."

Nixon has faulted Cuomo for not doing enough to address education inequalities, corruption or the lack of funding for New York City's subways. Cuomo points to his successful push for gun control laws, same-sex marriage, and a $15 minimum wage.

The party also designated incumbent Democrat Tom DiNipaoli as its candidate for comptroller, and incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul in the lieutenant governor's race.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to address the convention on Thursday.


Marc Molinaro

The 42-year-old Molinaro is a former state lawmaker whose political career began at age 19 when he was elected mayor of the small Hudson Valley community of Tivoli. Delegates to the New York state Republican convention nominated him on the first day of the two-day gathering in the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Manhattan.

Molinaro accepted the GOP nomination after former Gov. George Pataki introduced him. Molinaro took a moderate tone during his speech, pointing out the need to rid Albany of corruption.

"I don't come from wealth or fame and I wasn't born into a political dynasty," Molinaro told the crowd. "I'm no television star I'm just an everyday New Yorker with a calling and some hard earned know how and I make no other claim."



Republicans nominated Julie Killian, a former deputy mayor in the Westchester County town of Rye, for lieutenant governor.

She and Molinaro took their spot on stage amid a small crowd. It was perhaps an indication of the difficulties Republicans have in statewide races in New York, particularly with President Trump's low statewide approval figures. Republicans have not won a statewide race in New York since 2002.

But with Cynthia Nixon running on the Working Families Party line, Molinaro needs all the Republicans he can get, and his relatively moderate social positions may sap him of enough to eke out a victory in a potential three-way race between he, Nixon, and Cuomo in November.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party does not at this time have set nominees for attorney general and state comptroller. That will be hashed out overnight, with a nomination vote expected Thursday morning.


Zephyr Teachout, Letitia James, Leecia Eve

The Democratic Party also nominated its candidate to succeed ex-Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned earlier this month amid allegations that he assaulted four women.

Three Democrats have so far formally announced their intention to run: New York City Public Advocate Letitia James; Leecia Eve, a Buffalo attorney and former adviser to Clinton and Cuomo; and Fordham University Law Professor Zephyr Teachout, who challenged Cuomo four years ago.

James has emerged as the front-runner, acquiring endorsements from Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. She also secured more than 80 percent of delegates' votes at the convention to secure her spot on the ballot.

Exclusive: Letitia James speaks after her Democratic nomination




Like Nixon in the race for governor, Teachout and Eve can still get on the Democratic primary ballot in the attorney general race by collecting signatures from voters.


President Donald Trump
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump was also in New York on Wednesday, taking the center seat at a roundtable discussion on MS-13 on Long Island that federal and local officials attended. The New York-native was invited to speak at a dinner reception at the convention Wednesday night, as he was scheduled to be only a few blocks away from the Ziegfeld Ballroom, attending a fundraiser. However, he declined the invitation to go the convention.

Rep. Dan Donovan, who is locked in a fierce Republican primary battle with Michael Grimm, was one of the local officials who was invited to the MS-13 roundtable. He used the opportunity to praise Trump profusely, as the president is popular on Staten Island, which comprises most of Donovan's congressional district.

The congressman gave the commander-in-chief effusive accolades while dismissing another controversy surrounding Trump; at a similar White House event last week, the president referred to undocumented immigrants as animals. He later said he was referring to members of MS-13.

The invitation was not an endorsement by the president, and it's unclear if Trump will officially weigh in on Donovan's battle with Grimm.

"We didn't talk about it," Donovan responded when asked if had a chance to ask Trump for an endorsement. "This was about what we were here for today: the panel and what he is doing for law enforcement."

Donovan was scheduled to fly back to Washington D.C. on Air Force One with the president. It's not clear if he asked for an endorsement then.