Gov. Cuomo: Upstate voters, 'they don't know me as well'

March 26, 2019 10:06 AM

NEW YORK (WHEC) -- During a nearly 30-minute radio interview on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo discussed the Mueller report, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's presidential campaign, and the state budget.

He was also asked about upstate New York and why he doesn't think he has broader support here. The question came after the governor and reporter Alan Chartock were speaking about upstate casinos.


Cuomo basically said the casino licenses were a gift for upstate New York.

When pushed by Chartock on why upstate voters weren't more thankful, the governor said upstaters just don't know him well enough.     

Here's a portion of the exchange:

Gov. Cuomo: "…we used it as a magnet to bring tourism to upstate New York as destinations." 

Alan Chartock: "Did it work?" 

Cuomo: "It has worked, it has worked. We've created thousands of jobs with the casinos and not just jobs but people come up for conferences, they stay the weekend, they go to lunch in the town etcetera."

Chartock: "They gamble."  

Cuomo: "Right."

The governor has admitted though, the buy-in for those upstate casinos may have been too high as most of them, including del Lago in Seneca County, have failed to meet their promised revenues.

When asked whether he would consider a casino license in the New York City area, here's what Cuomo added:

"...It was a device to bring New York City people to upstate New York and tourism is one of the main engines for upstate New York. And you know, I have focused like no other governor, frankly, on upstate New York. And I know upstate New York intimately and it's so beautiful and has so many advantages and I believe with all my heart that if the people of New York City knew what we had, there's no reason to go anywhere." 

Chartock: "Well how come they're not voting for you in upstate New York in larger numbers if you're doing all of that?"

Cuomo: "Well it tends to be a little more conservative in upstate New York and I think they don't know me as well."

Chartock: "You've been there for a while. They should know you by now, right?"

According to voting records, Cuomo had his largest upstate support when he was a rookie governor in 2010. It dropped when he was re-elected in 2014 and when he was re-elected in November to his third team. He won just seven of the 62 counties north of New York City.

A spokesman for Cuomo tells News10NBC, “The governor was clearly joking. Upstaters certainly know about the governor, who has focused on revitalizing and re-energizing Upstate like no governor before him.”?????


Jennifer Lewke

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