The New York gubernatorial election of 2010 was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. Incumbent Democratic Governor David Paterson, elected as Lieutenant Governor in 2006 as the running mate of Eliot Spitzer, chose not to run for a full term. Democratic New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo defeated Republican Carl Paladino to become the next Governor of New York.
Governor David Paterson had announced in October 2008 that he was running for election in 2010, but backed out in February 2010. He was asked by President Obama to withdraw from the race out of fear that Republicans could win the seat from Paterson.
Andrew Cuomo, the state Attorney General, was widely rumored to be considering a run. Though he had originally denied any interest, this did not stop rampant speculation that Cuomo would change his mind and enter the race, though the speculated date had been pushed back several times, according to those who said he was going to run. Though Cuomo had initially trailed Paterson by double digits in potential match up polls, he jumped to a massive lead over the incumbent, had a higher approval and favorability rating, and decisively beat any Republican challenger in every poll, something that could not be said of Paterson. Despite this, and even with Paterson out of the race, it had still not been enough to convince Cuomo to come public with any plans, and he had stated only that "this is an election year and I will announce my plans at the appropriate time." After over a year of dodging speculation, Cuomo finally announced his candidacy on May 22, 2010 outside the Tweed Courthouse at New York's City Hall. In anticipation of this announcement, Cuomo had released a video laying out his platform and his plan for revitalizing the state of New York. Cuomo made this announcement only a few days before the state party convention, which was the deadline for major party candidates to announce their intentions. On May 26, 2010, he announced his choice for Lieutenant Governor, Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy, a former RPD police chief.
Dutchess County legislator Joel Tyner ran an unsuccessful petition drive that fell short of the 15,000 signatures necessary to get onto the primary ballot.
Rent Is Too Damn High Party founder Jimmy McMillan filed petitions to appear on the Democratic primary ballot and the Rent Is Too Damn High line. However, he put very little effort into the Democratic petitions, and the vast majority of the 13,350 signatures bearing his name were collected by Randy Credico, who had partnered with McMillan for a joint Democratic petition. Credico had counted on McMillan to collect 10,000 signatures to put his total at over 20,000, above the 15,000 required to get onto the ballot, but McMillan never followed through, leaving both candidates short of the necessary signatures to force a Democratic primary against Cuomo, who was thus unopposed. Credico, in response, called McMillan a "jack-off" and a "sorry ass", accusing him of "working against me", "turn[ing] in a wagonload of blank pages and then [leaving] Albany in brand new automobiles." McMillan did file the necessary signatures to get onto the "Rent Is 2 Damn High" line; the petitions were technically invalid because they did not include a lieutenant governor candidate, but McMillan was allowed onto the ballot anyway because nobody challenged the petitions.
On September 21, 2009, former Long Island Congressman and 2000 Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rick Lazio declared his 2010 candidacy for governor of New York; Lazio made a formal announcement in Albany, New York the following day. Lazio was the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
Other potential 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidates included former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Erie County Executive Chris Collins. In April 2009, a Quinnipiac poll showed Giuliani slightly ahead of incumbent David Paterson. Giuliani stated in June 2009 that he was considering running. In December 2009, Giuliani announced that he would not run and would instead back Lazio. On January 26, 2010, Collins announced that he would not run; he did not endorse Lazio, and instead encouraged the Party to choose someone else.
On March 19, 2010, Steve Levy, the county executive of Suffolk County, announced that he would run for Governor as a Republican. Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox threw his support to Levy. Because his decision came after the deadline to change parties, Levy was still legally a Democrat until November 2010 and would need a "Wilson Pakula" to run on the Republican line, which in turn would require a majority endorsement from the Republicans at the state convention.
After Chris Collins passed on the race, activist Rus Thompson persuaded developer Carl Paladino to consider running for Governor. In March 2010, Paladino was strongly considering a run and was said to be willing to spend $10,000,000 of his own money on a campaign. He advised state Republican Party chairman Edward F. Cox of his intentions. Paladino announced his candidacy on April 5, 2010.
At the June 2010 Republican Convention, Lazio won the support of 59% of the delegates and was designated the Party's candidate for Governor. Levy "received 28 percent [of the vote] on the first ballot, squeaking above the 25 percent threshold needed to force a second vote on his authorization. While he [had] signed a Republican registration form, Levy [remained] an enrolled Democrat. As such, a separate vote authorizing his appearance in a primary was held: Levy garnered the support of 42.66 percent of the delegates, short of the 50 percent required." Paladino received eight percent of the vote, and real estate consultant Myers Mermel received four percent. On July 15, 2010, Paladino mounted a primary challenge against Lazio by filing petitions.
By September 2010, Lazio and Paladino were nearly tied in the most polls, with Paladino having a significant edge in Upstate New York and Lazio leading heavily in Downstate New York. Paladino was supported heavily by the Tea Party movement. On September 14, 2010, Paladino upset Lazio in the primary. His win was primarily based strong upstate support, while low levels of voter turnout downstate hurt Lazio.
Lazio received the endorsement of the Conservative Party's executive committee in March 2010, with 14 party chairs in favor, four backing Steve Levy, and one (Erie County's Ralph Lorigo) backing Carl Paladino. At the Conservative Party convention in May 2010, Ralph Lorigo united with Steve Levy supporters to act as a placeholder on the ballot and earned 42% of the weighted ballot; by being a registered party member, he only needed 25% to force a primary election (something that Levy and Paladino, as a Democrat and Republican respectively, could not do). After Lorigo entered the gubernatorial race, Long demanded Lorigo's resignation; Lorigo responded by offering to wager the party chairmanship on the results of the race: If Lorigo won the primary, Long would resign and allow Lorigo (party second-in-command) to succeed him as Conservative Party chairman, but if Lazio won, Lorigo would resign his position within the Party.
On September 14, 2010, Lazio defeated Lorigo in the Conservative primary. Following Lazio's loss to Paladino in the GOP gubernatorial primary, Chairman Long indicated that he planned to move forward with Lazio; however, on September 27, 2010, Lazio confirmed that he would drop his bid for Governor by accepting a nomination for a judicial position in the Bronx. The Conservative Party then nominated Paladino as its candidate for Governor.
|Conservative (N.Y.)||Rick Lazio||11,465||60.18|
|Conservative (N.Y.)||Ralph Lorigo||7,586||39.82|
The Working Families Party was said to heavily favor Cuomo, but was reportedly concerned that the party's damaged reputation may cause Cuomo to decline any nomination from them. In somewhat of a surprise move, the party nominated its own members for all but one statewide elected office, and did not cross-endorse Democrats as usual. The party nominated United Auto Workers lawyer Kenneth Schaffer as its nominee for governor in June 2010. After the federal investigation against the party was closed with no charges, speculation has run rampant that the party will vacate the line in favor of Cuomo by nominating Schaeffer for a judicial position and offering Cuomo a Wilson Pakula, which the party did unanimously in September 2010.
The Green Party of New York nominated national party co-founder Howie Hawkins, who had been a perennial candidate in state and federal elections since 2006, as its candidate at the party convention on May 15, 2010.
The Rent Is Too Damn High Party whose perennial New York City mayoral candidate is Jimmy McMillan, fielded him in the New York gubernatorial election in 2010. Following the New York gubernatorial television debate, McMillan's campaign went viral.
The following political parties have never gained ballot access in New York, but filed petitions and qualified for the November ballot. Their nominees were as follows:
These three parties were placed at the bottom of the ballot and, in many jurisdictions, were placed in a separate column from the other candidates, making it difficult for voters to find them. None of them gained automatic ballot access.
For the first time in several elections, the Socialist Workers Party did not submit petitions for their candidate, Daniel Fein, and waged a write-in campaign for him instead. John Nemjo, an environmentalist from Troy who has run several write-in campaigns in the past, began a write-in campaign for the post in October 2010. Jim Nolan, an insurance salesman from Malta, also began a write-in campaign in October 2010. His campaign was run entirely by social media, including a website, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter page.
The Libertarian, Green and other minor parties had until August 17, 2010, to submit petitions to the state Board of Elections. A minimum of 15,000 valid signatures, from a minimum of 15 congressional districts, are required to achieve ballot access. The results will be finalized on September 2.
The Paladino campaign submitted 30,000 signatures for its Taxpayers Party. Charles Barron submitted 43,500 signatures for the Freedom Party, though a fellow New York City councilman, Lewis Fidler, has already announced his intention to challenge Barron's signatures. The Davis campaign has submitted 22,000 signatures; the Hawkins campaign has filed 27,000, and the Libertarian Party claims to have submitted over 34,000.
Along with the Governor, a new Lieutenant Governor was elected in 2010. Following Gov. Eliot Spitzer's resignation and Lt. Gov. Paterson's subsequent succession to the governorship, the office of the Lieutenant Governor was vacant until Paterson appointed Richard Ravitch to the position in July 2009. Ravitch did not seek election in 2010.
Cuomo selected Rochester mayor Bob Duffy as his running mate on May 26, 2010. Other Democrats mentioned as potential candidates include Ramapo town supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers), Buffalo mayor Byron Brown, State Senator Darrel Aubertine, and Canandaigua businessman Bill Samuels.
On the Republican side, Lazio endorsed Chautauqua County executive Greg Edwards as his choice for lieutenant governor on May 17, 2010.Tom Ognibene, former minority leader of the New York City Council, was Paladino's running mate. Other Republicans mentioned as potential candidates included Orange County executive Edward A. Diana, Monroe County executive Maggie Brooks, former New York Secretary of State Christopher Jacobs (Steve Levy's preferred running mate, Onondaga County executive Joanie Mahoney, 2006 lieutenant governor candidate C. Scott Vanderhoef (who instead ran for State Senate), and Myers Mermel (who later opted to run for overnor instead. Edwards narrowly defeated Tom Ognibene, creating a split ticket in which Lazio's preferred running mate became Paladino's running mate in the general election.
The Libertarian Party chose Alden Link as their nominee, and the Green Party nominated Gloria Mattera as their candidate for the position. The Conservative Party chairman endorsed Lazio's running mate, Greg Edwards, though Andrew Kay was able to force his way onto a primary ballot on the Lorigo placeholder slate. The Working Families Party nominated community organizer Elon Harpaz.
|Poll source||Dates administered||Sample size||Margin of error||Andrew Cuomo (D)||Carl Paladino (R)||Other||Undecided|
|Angus Reid Public Opinion||October 28-29, 2010||546 LV||±4.2%||55%||38%||5%||--|
|Rasmussen||October 22, 2010||943 RV||±3.0%||51%||37%||2%||12%|
|The New York Times||October 17-19, 2010||943 RV||±3.0%||67%||24%||2%||12%|
|The New York Times||October 10-15, 2010||943 RV||±3.0%||59%||24%||2%||12%|
|Survey USA / Gannett||October 11-13, 2010||633 LV||±3.9%||59%||33%||6%||3%|
|Survey USA / Gannett||October 5-7, 2010||627 LV||±4.0%||57%||34%||5%||3%|
|Angus Reid Public Opinion||October 5-7, 2010||500 RV||±4.5%||63%||32%||6%||--|
|Quinnipiac||October 1-5, 2010||1,141 LV||±2.9%||55%||37%||2%||6%|
|CNN / Opinion Research||October 1-5, 2010||585 LV||±4.0%||55%||41%||2%||1%|
|CNN / Opinion Research||October 1-5, 2010||1,315 RV||±2.5%||65%||31%||2%||1%|
|Siena Poll||October 3-4, 2010||636 LV||±3.9%||56%||32%||--||11%|
|Public Policy Polling||October 1-3, 2010||592 LV||±4.0%||53%||38%||--||8%|
|Marist Poll||September 27-29, 2010||591 LV||±4.0%||53%||38%||1%||8%|
|Survey USA/Gannett||September 20-21, 2010||572 LV||±4.2%||49%||40%||8%||3%|
|Quinnipiac||September 16-20, 2010||751 LV||±3.6%||49%||43%||1%||7%|
|Rasmussen Reports||September 20, 2010||500 LV||±4.5%||54%||38%||2%||6%|
|Quinnipiac||August 23-29, 2010||1,497 RV||±2.5%||60%||23%||1%||14%|
|Siena Poll||August 9-16, 2010||788 RV||±3.5%||60%||27%||--||13%|
|Quinnipiac||July 20-26, 2010||1,165 RV||±2.9%||55%||25%||1%||16%|
|Rasmussen Reports||July 20, 2010||500 LV||±4.5%||58%||29%||5%||8%|
|Rasmussen Reports||June 24, 2010||500 LV||±4.5%||55%||25%||6%||13%|
|Siena Poll||May 17-20, 2010||905 RV||±3.3%||65%||22%||--||13%|
|Marist Poll||May 3-5, 2010||686 RV||±4.0%||67%||22%||--||11%|
|Rasmussen Reports||April 27, 2010||500 LV||±4.5%||55%||25%||5%||15%|
|Quinnipiac||April 6-11, 2010||1,381 RV||±2.6%||60%||24%||1%||14%|
|Rasmussen Reports||March 29, 2010||500 LV||±4.5%||51%||28%||6%||15%|
|Rasmussen Reports||March 1, 2010||500 LV||±4.5%||56%||27%||6%||11%|
|Poll source||Dates administered||David Paterson||Andrew Cuomo|
|Siena Poll||January 10-14, 2010||21%||59%|
|Quinnipiac||December 7-13, 2009||23%||60%|
|Rasmussen Reports||July 14, 2009||27%||61%|
|Qunnipiac||May 5-11, 2009||17%||62%|
|Qunnipiac||April 1-5, 2009||18%||61%|
|Siena Poll||March 13-16, 2009||17%||67%|
|Marist Poll||February 25-26, 2009||26%||62%|
|Siena Poll||February 16-18, 2009||27%||53%|
|Quinnipiac||February 10-15, 2009||23%||55%|
|Siena Poll[permanent dead link]||January 20-23, 2009||35%||33%|
|Siena Poll||December 8-11, 2008||49%||26%|
|Siena Poll||November 10-13, 2008||53%||25%|
|Siena Poll||July 7-10, 2008||51%||21%|
|Siena Poll||May 12-15, 2008||42%||29%|
|Siena Poll||April 12-15, 2008||35%||30%|
|Poll source||Dates administered||Rick Lazio||Steve Levy||Carl Paladino|
|Siena Poll||September 7-9, 2010||42%||--||41%|
|Quinnipiac||July 20-26, 2010||39%||--||23%|
|Siena Poll||May 17-20, 2010||29%||14%||16%|
|Marist Poll||May 3-5, 2010||38%||22%||13%|
|Siena Poll||April 12-15, 2010||29%||15%||13%|
|Quinnipiac||April 6-11, 2010||34%||11%||11%|
|Marist Poll||March 23-24, 2010||53%||21%||--|
|Siena Poll||March 15-18, 2010||60%||19%||--|
|Poll source||Dates administered||David Paterson||Rick Lazio|
|Rasmussen Reports||January 18, 2010||38%||45%|
|Siena Poll||January 10-14, 2010||42%||42%|
|Rasmussen Reports||December 22, 2009||40%||43%|
|Quinnipiac||December 7-13, 2009||41%||37%|
|Rasmussen Reports||November 17, 2009||37%||41%|
|Marist||November 15, 2009||36%||39%|
|Rasmussen Reports||September 22, 2009||38%||38%|
|Marist||May 4, 2009||37%||40%|
|Poll source||Dates administered||Andrew Cuomo||Rick Lazio|
|Quinnipiac||July 20-26, 2010||56%||26%|
|Rasmussen Reports||July 20, 2010||58%||27%|
|Siena Poll||July 12, 2010||60%||28%|
|Rasmussen Reports||June 24, 2010||55%||28%|
|Quinnipiac||June 22, 2010||58%||26%|
|Siena Poll||June 9, 2010||60%||24%|
|Siena Poll||May 17-20, 2010||66%||24%|
|Marist Poll||May 3-5, 2010||65%||25%|
|Rasmussen Reports||April 27, 2010||56%||24%|
|Siena Poll||April 12-15, 2010||61%||24%|
|Quinnipiac||April 6-11, 2010||55%||26%|
|Rasmussen Reports||March 29, 2010||52%||29%|
|Marist Poll||March 23-24, 2010||61%||30%|
|Siena Poll||March 15-18, 2010||59%||21%|
|Rasmussen Reports||March 2, 2010||55%||30%|
|Rasmussen Reports||January 18, 2010||54%||35%|
|Siena Poll||January 10-14, 2010||66%||24%|
|Quinnipiac||December 7-13, 2009||62%||22%|
|Rasmussen Reports||November 17, 2009||57%||29%|
|Rasmussen Reports||September 22, 2009||65%||26%|
|Marist Poll||February 25-26, 2009||71%||20%|
|Poll source||Dates administered||Rudy Giuliani||David Paterson|
|Marist Poll||September 8-10, 2009||60%||34%|
|Poll source||Dates administered||David Paterson||Chris Collins|
|Siena Poll||January 10-14, 2010||40%||40%|
|Rasmussen Reports||December 22, 2009||38%||42%|
|Poll source||Dates administered||Andrew Cuomo||Chris Collins|
|Siena Poll||January 10-14, 2010||65%||23%|
|Poll source||Dates administered||Andrew Cuomo||Steve Levy|
|Siena Poll||May 17-20, 2010||65%||22%|
|Marist Poll||May 3-5, 2010||63%||25%|
|Rasmussen Reports||April 27, 2010||50%||27%|
|Siena Poll||April 12-15, 2010||58%||23%|
|Quinnipiac||April 6-11, 2010||57%||24%|
|Rasmussen Reports||March 29, 2010||50%||26%|
|Marist Poll||March 23-24, 2010||65%||26%|
|Siena Poll||March 15-18, 2010||63%||16%||Warren Redlich: 4%|
|Poll source||Dates administered||Andrew Cuomo||Rick Lazio||Carl Paladino||Notes|
|Marist Poll||September 23, 2010||52%||9%||33%|
|Siena Poll: Volunteer any candidate||May 17-20, 2010||43%||4%||5%||Steve Levy: 3%|
|Rasmussen Reports||March 2, 2010||50%||19%||15%|
Cuomo defeated Paladino in a landslide.
|Gubernatorial election in New York, 2010 |
|Working Families||Andrew Cuomo||154,835||3.35%||0.05%|
|Total||Andrew Cuomo||Robert Duffy||2,910,876||63.05%||2.65%|
|Total||Carl Paladino||Greg Edwards||1,547,857||33.53%||6.41%|
|Green||Howie Hawkins||Gloria Mattera||59,906||1.30%||0.41%|
|Libertarian||Warren Redlich||Alden Link||48,359||1.05%||0.74%|
|Rent Is Too Damn High||Jimmy McMillan||James D. Schultz||41,129||0.89%||0.61%|
|Freedom||Charles Barron||Eva M. Doyle||24,571||0.53%|
|Anti-Prohibition||Kristin M. Davis||Tanya Gendelman||20,421||0.44%|
In addition to the parties fielding candidates, New York's electoral fusion laws allow parties to cross-endorse candidates. The Independence Party and Working Families Party cross-endorsed Andrew Cuomo, while the Conservative Party and Taxpayers Party cross-endorsed Carl Paladino. The Independence Party line received 146,648 votes (5.0% of Cuomo's total, and 3.2% of the statewide total) and the Working Families line received 154,853 votes (5.3% and 3.4%), with the Democratic line receiving the remaining 2,610,220 votes (89.6% and 56.5%). The Conservative line received 232,281 votes (15.0% of Paladino's total, and 5.0% of the statewide total) and the Taxpayers line received 25,821 votes (1.5% and 0.6%), with the Republican line receiving the remaining 1,290,082 votes (83.3% and 27.1%).
The results of New York's gubernatorial elections are used to decide which parties receive automatic ballot access and what order the parties are listed on the ballot. Parties whose candidates for governor receive over 50,000 votes on that party's line receive automatic ballot access for the next four years (until the next gubernatorial election). This applies regardless of whether the party fielded its own candidate or cross-endorsed the candidate of another party. Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins received over 57,000 votes, allowing the New York Green Party to be listed on the ballot for the following four years (the Party had lost automatic ballot status in 2002). The election results also reordered the ballot such that the top seven parties appeared in the following order in New York's elections for the subsequent four years: Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Working Families, Independence, Green, Libertarian. In the preceding four years this order had been: Democratic, Republican, Independence, Conservative, Working Families, Green, Libertarian.
Gov. David A. Paterson is set to announce that he will not seek election in the wake of reports that he and the State Police intervened in a domestic-assault case against a senior aide, according to a person told about the plans.