Governor Cuomo Supports Potential Independent Party Run by Ousted Pro-Gay GOP Senator

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Cuomo. Photo: Chris Hondros/2010 Getty Images

Governor Andrew Cuomo sent an open letter to two-term Republican State Senator Roy McDonald telling him that he's got his back. Not only to console the senator, who supported New York's Marriage Equality Act (which was a "contributing factor" in his primary defeat to Kathy Marchione), but in the event that McDonald tries to win his seat back by running as an independent candidate. The Times Union reports that McDonald has secured the backing of the Independence Party but he "has not clearly stated if he will campaign vigorously on its line."

Cuomo wrote in the open letter:

When an elected official votes his or her conscience, especially when it’s not easy, I respect it. I was raised in a tradition which valued political courage, honor and integrity over political success. I hope to pass on those values.

I accept personal responsibility for proposing and strongly advocating the marriage equality legislation, and I remember personally asking for your support. You stood up for your principles, for equality and for a population long victimized. It is now evident that you paid a political price for your convictions. You should not be left to stand alone now.

The Times Union suggests Cuomo might be able to steer money and voters to McDonald should he decide to run against Marchione and the Democratic candidate, Claverack Town Supervisor Robin Andrews. Presently there is only one Independence Party member in the State Assembly, Fred Thiele, and none in the Senate.