There are certain types of public events that I avoid, as I can’t relate to them. I do not watch professional wrestling or mixed martial arts.
Occasionally, I come across an invite to attend a demolition derby. The derby is a non-racing sport that usually involves five or more drivers who compete by deliberately ramming their vehicles into one another.
The derby has a lot in common with the various New York Democratic Party officeholders who are making plans to unseat newly sworn Governor Kathy Hochul.
At this very moment, there are at least three Democrats making plans to run for governor next year.
The three are Attorney General Letitia James, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and current New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio.
Each of them is planning to travel around the state to find out if there is any public support for their candidacy even though all of them have already decided that they intend to run. Of the three, the most likely front-runner will be the Attorney General.
Ms. James has become a well-known figure because of her involvement in the report that led to the resignation for former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The report gained national attention, due in part to the vivid description by many women of their interactions with the former governor.
She is also pursuing the Trump organization in an ongoing civil investigation that could lead to a criminal referral. She will face criticism over the fact that she has toppled a sitting governor and now wants to run for that position. If she becomes a candidate, she will be very formidable, assuming she can raise the money for the contest.
Jumaane Williams is the darling of the progressive movement and has run once for the lt. governor nomination and lost. His statewide numbers were impressive but he is incapable of raising the kind of money needed in a statewide primary.
He has a political history as having been a City Council member and Public Advocate, but to date has no accomplishments to claim should he decide to run. He is currently running for re-election as public advocate, partially based on his claim that he will “not seek higher office.” Most political reporters believe his candidacy is an ego trip.
The most astonishing development is the possible candidacy of Mayor Bill De Blasio. He is finishing up his final term in office with one of the lowest popularity levels in the city’s history. The city is facing public claims of high crime, dirty streets, inability to deal with the homeless and a host of other issues and the idea of a De Blasio candidacy is mind-boggling.
On a personal note, I know the mayor and have contributed to his previous races for city council and public advocate. If you are looking for a friend to have a cup of coffee with, he is the best possible companion.
There is one person that is not being mentioned in the derby for governor and that is Andrew Cuomo. The former governor has an estimated $18 million in his treasury and is said to be itching to run.
His rationale for running may be that the state is in a disastrous condition and he is still the only person capable of saving it. If there are multiple candidates in a party primary, he could have a chance to sneak through. Over the next month, the Assembly Judiciary Committee will be delivering its report on the former governor’s actions. That report could undermine his chances.
While the possible candidates are out seeking support, Gov. Kathy Hochul has been raising large amounts of money and is doing the job of governor quite well.
She has taken on the job of getting more New Yorkers vaccinated and is traveling around the state at a record speed. She has made numerous new appointments of people with good credentials.
Her successes and the support of the State Democratic Chair Jay Jacobs should help but it will not deter the challengers from creating a demolition derby.