Andrew Cuomo with Hillary Clinton

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

New York Democrats Pick Cuomo, Republicans Pick Molinaro At State Conventions

May 23, 2018 - 3:40 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) -- It was a busy day for New York politics Wednesday, as Democrats and Republicans held their state conventions.

At the Democratic Convention at Hofstra University on Long Island, a smiling Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave former secretary of state, U.S. senator and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton flowers after he received the nomination to run for a third term in office, receiving 95 percent of the votes from the delegates.

"Sex and the City'' actress and activist Cynthia Nixon, who is challenging Cuomo, received less than 5 percent.

Clinton talked about what a better place New York state is because of Cuomo.

"Our state has erase a $10 billion deficit and added more than 1 million private sector jobs. New York became the first state to raise the minimum wage to $15," Clinton said.

At the convention, the party also nominated New York City Public Advocate Letitia James to succeed ex-Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned earlier this month amid allegations that he assaulted four women he dated.

James has emerged as the frontrunner and has the support of the governor and the City Council speaker.

Long Islanders who came to see and hear those nominated said they are concerned about crime, good jobs for young people and the environment.

"Safety is a priority in all communities -- politicians, the government and any other sources that can assist in providing safe neighborhoods for our children," one woman said.

Also happening in Midtown, the GOP convention took place at the Ziegfield Ballroom, where Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro received and accepted the Republican Party's nomination for governor. Molinaro, who is originally from Yonkers, is positioning himself as a moderate looking to clean up Albany politics.

"I stand before you today grateful, humbled -- especially humbled -- for the leap of faith that you're taking in me," said the 42-year-old Molinaro, who proclaimed himself an ordinary New Yorker. "I don't come from wealth or fame and I wasn't born into a politial dynasty. I'm no television star, I'm just an every day New Yorker with a calling and some hard-earned know-how."

Signs at the GOP convention read "Cuomo's gotta go," "Restore New York" and "Clean up Albany."

There hasn't been a Republican governor in New York since George Pataki, who unexpectedly defeated the late Mario Cuomo -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo's father -- in 1994.

"To our friends in the media who have written their story as 'Molinaro is a great guy but how can he win?' You wrote the same thing about me in 1994 and just like in 1994 in November 2018 you're going to be going, 'How did this happen?'"

Even though President Donald Trump was in New York Wednesday for a roundtable discussion on the MS-13 gang on Long Island, he did not appear at the Republican convention.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)