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COVID-19: Congressional Cuomo Critic Mulling 2022 NY Gubernatorial Run

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik Photo Credit: Congresswoman Elise Stefanik

One of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s staunchest critics is contemplating throwing her hat in the ring for a potential gubernatorial run.

Upstate New York Congresswoman Elsie Stefanik is reportedly mulling the bid to run in 2022 as Cuomo and his administration come under fire from both Republicans and Democrats due to his COVID-19 nursing home scandal.

Stefanik becomes the latest Republican name floated to replace Cuomo, joining Fox News weather personality Janice Dean and other Republicans who are considering a run in Albany.

Other potential candidates include Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro (Cuomo's opponent in 2018), and pro-Trump Congressman Lee Zeldin of Long Island.

“Elise has all the hardware to have an unlimited future,” Tom Reynolds, a former congressman from Buffalo who served two terms as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee in the 2000s said to the Washington Examiner. “The question is, where does she want to take her career?”

Stefanik, who represents the 21st Congressional District, which includes most of North Country, has been a constant critic of Cuomo, specifically targeting him on social media - where she dubbed him “Worst Governor in America” - while highlighting the nursing home controversy as frequently as possible.

Cuomo had been largely expected to easily win re-election in 2022 until the recent nursing home controversy, which found that his administration had underreported the number of deaths and then sought to cover it up from the federal government.

“I have said from the beginning that this is more than a nursing home scandal, this is a criminal coverup corruption scandal at the highest levels of New York State government,” Stefanik said. “The State Senate and Assembly should immediately issue subpoenas to the governor and his senior staff.

“Enough is enough,” she later tweeted. “#CorruptCuomo needs to be removed from office and prosecuted.”

The governor has also taken heat for alleged sexual harassment claims, which prompted Stefanik to call for an independent investigation into the matter.

“The people of New York deserve a governor who lives up to his own public statements on sexual harassment,” she said.

According to the Washington Examiner, “the 36-year-old (Stefanik) is a dynamic politician from near Albany who has cultivated a network of relationships across the state while in Washington working to elect more Republican women to Congress.

"Her name identification is high, both from her work on Capitol Hill and the public fight she picked with Cuomo over his handling of the coronavirus.” 

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