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Voters react as calls for Cuomo to resign come from both sides of the aisle

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 6:41 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2021 at 6:04 AM EST
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - Calls for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign amid sexual harassment allegations are growing louder and now some of those voices are Democrats.

Some Democrats are defecting, saying Cuomo needs to step aside so they can get to work.

Meanwhile, voters in Plattsburgh are split.

“This isn’t about politics, Kelly, this is about getting the state work done,” said Assemblyman Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay Lake.

North Country Democratic Assemblyman Jones says he agrees with the other top Democratic lawmakers when they say it’s time to get to work on state issues that don’t involve the governor.

“There is a point where it becomes too much of a distraction,” Jones said.

Voters in Plattsburgh I spoke with have mixed feelings.

“I think what he did was wrong,” voter Dan Romeo said.

“I don’t think he should resign at the present time,” voter Margaret Coryer said. “I’m not saying the girls’ side isn’t valid but I would like to make sure both sides are being covered.”

“People are defending him and I think that goes against the whole movement and he should be held accountable,” voter Ranch Keane said.

“Figure it out and get going,” voter Cathy Ann Kelley said.

“I don’t think he should be in a position of authority,” voter Adam Gough said. “I think it’s time for him to step down.”

“I think the people who voted for him probably knew what kind of guy he was when they voted for him,” Coryer said.

SUNY Plattsburgh Political Science Professor, Harvey Schantz says the governor says he feels he is capable of separating the scandal from the work that needs to be done in the state.

“Governor Cuomo is very confident, based on his many years in office, that he can put the scandals off to the side and conduct the governorship,” Schantz said.

But Schantz says once an elected official loses their party, it’s hard to stay in office.

“Ultimately, any governor is dependent on the state legislature for staying in office due to the possibility of impeachment by the Assembly and removal by the Senate,” Schantz said.

Jones says the distraction is ultimately hurting the taxpayers.

“It’s sad, that’s the only thing I want to say,” Jones said. “I feel bad for the residents of New York state because we’re just not being able to get the work done.”

Jones says it’s too early for him to say if he would vote to impeach Cuomo but he says the governor’s fate is something lawmakers in Albany dare spending a lot of time discussing.

Schantz points out only one New York governor has ever been impeached and that was back in 1913.

In response to the calls for his resignation, Cuomo said, in part: “I was elected by the people of the state, I was not elected by politicians. I’m not going to resign because of allegations.”

Cuomo is also asking New Yorkers to wait to draw their conclusions until the independent investigation is over and its findings are out.

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