NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo appears to have opted against mounting an independent run for his old job — at least for now.
Cuomo, who resigned in August amid allegations he sexually harassed multiple women, had said he was open to running for governor this year, despite the scandal.
But 5 p.m. Tuesday 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.
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.
The former governor has been making more public appearances in recent months and suggested in March that he might gather petition signatures to try to get on the ballot.
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.
His former lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, took over as governor when he resigned in August, 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.
Cuomo stepped down in his third term, saying at the time that while he denied the allegations of wrongdoing, he was stepping aside to avoid subjecting the state to months of turmoil.
A sheriff in Albany filed criminal charges against Cuomo in connection with an aide’s groping allegations, but those charges were ultimately dropped by the county’s district attorney, who cited a lack of proof.
Cuomo had initially been considering running again for a fourth term and left office with millions in his campaign fundraising account.
Since leaving, he’s used the money partially to fund a series of political TV ads touting his record.