Cuomo says he was joking about runner-up prizes for cities

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office says he was joking when he said the state would be giving millions more in funding to help cities revitalize their downtowns.

The Democratic governor made the remarks Tuesday in Hudson, where he announced that the city was a first-place winner of his downtown revitalization contest, which gives $10 million to 10 winning communities.

He told the large crowd that because so many cities entered the contest, the state would also award second, third and fourth-place prizes. He even mentioned specific dollar amounts for each prize.

On Wednesday, a spokeswoman said the governor wasn't serious but the comments "did not come off that way."

The joke might not amuse the many communities that entered the contest but will not win a prize.

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