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Duffy gives his last public speech as lieutenant governor

Karen Dewitt
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during this year's Regional Economic Development Council awards ceremony.

New York state Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy gave what was likely his last public address at an awards ceremony for the Regional Economic Development Councils, where he was praised by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others.  

The lieutenant governor was lauded by Cuomo and the leaders of the regional councils, who gather in Albany each year to receive millions of dollars in economic development grants. Cuomo praised Duffy, saying he couldn’t have a better partner or friend, and he cited his lieutenant governor’s diligence in traveling the state to promote the administration’s economic development policies.  

“The man worked seven days a week, all over the state,” Cuomo said. “The man didn’t say no in four years.”

Credit Karen Dewitt / WRVO
Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy says he will support Gov. Andrew Cuomo long after Duffy leaves office at the end of the year.

Duffy, who is retiring because he says all of the driving aggravated a back injury, praised Cuomo as a great team leader. Duffy addressed some media articles over the years that have portrayed him as Cuomo’s chief cheerleader. Duffy once called Cuomo the "Picasso of politics."

“I do what I want to do, and I do what I believe in,” Duffy said. “And this man, I have believed in since day one in office. I leave here January 1, I'll believe in him then, and I think you will see in the future the support and loyalty that goes between Bob Duffy and Governor Cuomo will not end on January 1. It will go on for a long, long, long time."

Duffy will be replaced by former Buffalo-area Congresswoman Kathy Hochul. He leaves to head the Rochester Business Alliance.

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.