After months of speculation whether former Gov. Andrew Cuomo would make another run for his old job — less than a year after resigning in disgrace when faced with allegations of sexual harassment and wrongdoing — the deadline came and went with no paperwork filed by Cuomo.
The first deadline to get the Cuomo name back in the race of Democrats passed in April, but that wasn't the long-time politician's only shot back in the political arena. Tuesday marked his last chance to run for governor of New York by filing petitions to run as a third-party candidate.
But Cuomo, who previously said he was open to running for governor this year despite the scandal, appears to have opted against mounting an independent run for his old job — at least for now. Tuesday at 5 p.m. was the deadline for candidates to collect 45,000 voter signatures if they wanted to appear as an independent candidate for governor on the November general election ballot.
That deadline passed without Cuomo's campaign turning in the required nominating petitions, according to the state Board of Elections.
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Cuomo could still get on the ballot if his campaign had collected those signatures and put his petitions in the mail. If that paperwork was to arrive by Thursday, bearing a postmark dated Tuesday or earlier, it would still count, Board of Elections spokesperson Jennifer Wilson said.
Cuomo's spokesperson, Rich Azzopardi, did not respond to requests for comment.
For months the legacy politician made pop-up appearances, delivering campaign-style speeches at houses of worship and lamenting his step back from the highest post in the state as a result of "cancel culture."
After one of his returns to the public eye in March, Cuomo, asked if he would make another run for office, told reporters he was "open to all options."
Cuomo, who quit in his third term, indicated he was open to possibly gathering enough petition signatures to get on the ballot in the general election, a step that would allow him to bypass the Democratic primary in June.
“I know how to get on the ballot, I did it a couple times,” Cuomo told reporters. “The election isn’t until November. So there’s a lot of time to gather petitions, depending on how you want to run."
After giving a speech about gun violence Sunday in Brooklyn, Cuomo did not answer a question about whether he would run. Instead he said he was “speaking as a New Yorker” that day and added: “I don’t have to worry about political correctness.”
Cuomo could still try to mount a long-shot campaign as a write-in candidate in November, but he'd face a nearly impossible task of trying to get millions of people to write in his name instead of the Democratic or Republican nominee.
Cuomo resigned from office in August after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment.
He denied allegations he touched women inappropriately, including a charge by one aide that he groped her breast, and claimed his accusers had misconstrued comments he'd intended to be friendly banter.
Two teams of lawyers, one hired by Attorney General Letitia James and the other working for the state Assembly, said they found the harassment allegations credible. The attorney general released a report that concluded he had harassed 11 women.
The sexual harassment allegations were not the only controversy he faced when he resigned.
A report by the attorney general found his administration undercounted the COVID-19 death toll of New Yorkers in nursing homes by thousands. A report released by the state Comptroller’s office and another probe by the state Assembly echoed those findings.
Cuomo has blasted all three probes as politically driven.
Nearly every prominent Democrat in the state had called for Cuomo's resignation last year, as well as national party leaders including President Joe Biden. State lawmakers were preparing to impeach him when he quit.
Though he dropped out of public sight for a time after resigning, Cuomo has become increasingly visible in recent months.
He has been running television ads portraying himself as the victim of a political smear campaign.
Cuomo, who had long planned to run for a fourth term in 2022, reported $16 million still in his campaign fundraising account in January, giving him an ample start to mount a campaign. That includes potentially gathering signatures from voters.
His former lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, took over as governor after he resigned, promising a clean break from Cuomo’s administration. She has scooped up donors and emerged as a front-runner in the governor's race. Hochul's Democratic primary opponents include U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.