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Cuomo, Hochul accept nominations

Matt Ryan, New York Now
Supporters hold signs for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his new running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was nominated to run for a second term, along with his freshly chosen running mate, former western New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul.

Cuomo was nominated by a diverse group ranging from former President Bill Clinton, Harry Belafonte and union leaders via video, and ending with an endorsement by his daughters.

Cuomo, speaking to a packed and excited hall of delegates, recounted his accomplishments, including passing same sex marriage, rebuilding the Tappan Zee Bridge, and capping property taxes.

“My friends, we did what we said we were going to do, New York is on the move and we ain’t going back,” Cuomo said, to cheers.

Cuomo painted his GOP opponent Rob Astorino, who he did not mention by name, as a backward-thinking extremist.

“They believe that if you grant other people rights, it diminishes their rights,” Cuomo said. “We believe that when you grant other people rights, it enhances our own rights.”

And he says he needs four more years to achieve others goals, including better preparedness for super storms, helping more African American and Latino children go to college, and to cut property taxes.

He says he also wants to achieve three major unfinished progressive goals -- the Dream Act, to give children of undocumented immigrants college aid; the Women’s Equality Act, which contains an abortion rights provision; and public campaign finance. Cuomo blamed Senate Republicans for those unachieved measures, who he says have so far failed to deliver.

“We need to complete our social reform agenda,” he said. “And we will.”

At the same time, Cuomo praised Republicans, saying they enabled him to reach across the aisle and end government gridlock on the budget.

Cuomo’s running mate, former western New York Rep. Kathy Hochul, praised the governor for delivering on promises to help economically distressed Buffalo. Hochul lashed out at her GOP opponents, saying they are against Cuomo’s Start-Up NY program, which offers a tax free program to new businesses, and for opposing the monetary grant to the region known as the “Buffalo Billion.” She said the money is sacred, and compared it to the Buffalo Bills football team, the Buffalo Sabres hockey team, and chicken wings.

“Next, what is he going to call for, the elimination of the chicken wing?” Hochul said. “Come on, you can’t touch that.”

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.