Al Sharpton Says Democrats Have Asked Him About Possible Governor Runs After Cuomo Report

As the likelihood for Governor Andrew Cuomo remaining in office continues to dwindle, the discussion has already started about who will try to take his office. Reverend Al Sharpton said in a story published on Monday that top Democrats in the state have sought out his opinion on whether they should make a run for governor in 2022.

The baptist minister and civil rights activist told The New York Times that associates of four different gubernatorial aspirants had consulted him in recent days.

Al Sharpton
Rev. Al Sharpton said associates of top Democrats have asked his opinion about running for governor in 2022. In this photo, Sharpton is seen at a news briefing outside the West Wing of the White House following a meeting with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris July 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. Getty

"It's going to be very difficult for the governor to stay in, and I think it's going to open up the primary season early," Sharpton said to the Times.

One of those who sought counsel from Sharpton, according to him, was an associate of Attorney General Letitia James, the person largely responsible for bringing Cuomo down when she delivered the 165-page report detailing his alleged misconduct last week.

Though James has not given any public indication of plans to run for governor, she is viewed as a leading contender amongst Democrats. The Times noted she is viewed favorably due to her strong record as attorney general and appeal to a large swath of voters.

Another top name that's receiving a lot of speculation is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. A day before James released the report, de Blasio said during a press briefing when asked if he had considered running for governor in 2022, "I haven't ruled in or ruled out anything. I haven't made any decisions about the future."

Sharpton indicated to the Times that he had also heard from someone associated with the mayor. The reverend has made joint appearances with de Blasio in the past, usually at events related to social justice.

However, de Blasio remains a divisive member of his party, and his own standing within the city he leads has shrunk. In a June poll from Spectrum News NY1/Ipsos, 37 percent of New York City residents said they approved of the job that de Blasio is doing, compared to 47 percent who disapproved.

The New York Times also reported that Sharpton said he'd heard from associates of Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Representative Thomas Suozzi of Long Island.

If Cuomo should resign or is impeached, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul would assume the governorship. Though not mentioned in the Times article as being one of those who has approached Sharpton, she would most likely be a frontrunner should she already be governor by the time of the 2022 election.

Sharpton didn't say who he favors as the next governor, but he did suggest that the end of Cuomo's time in office is likely near. The reverend said of the current governor, "I don't see how he does survive this."

No stranger to seeking political office himself—having unsuccessfully run for the U.S. Senate, mayor of New York City, and even president—Sharpton has not commented on whether he's considered seeking the governor's office himself in 2022.