Voter Guide: New York Governor's Race

Andrew Cuomo (D) vs. Carl Paladino (R)

The race for Governor of New York is a contest between Democrat Andrew Cuomo, District Attorney for New York State and son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, and Republican Carl Paladino, a wealthy Buffalo businessman and political newcomer.

Andrew Cuomo (D)

WNYC Coverage of Andrew Cuomo:

Did Andrew Cuomo Feed the Subprime Crisis? (September 27, 2010)

Bloomberg Backs Cuomo (September 22, 2010)

Cuomo Accepts Millions of Dollars from Obscure Business Entities (August 18, 2010)

Cuomo Vows to Take Back State Government (May 22, 2010)

Fast Facts

  • Hometown: South Jamaica, Queens, NY
  • Graduated with BA from Fordham University; received law degree from Albany Law School
  • Established the Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged (HELP) in 1986
  • Served as a top policy advisor on and off during his father Mario Cuomo's governorship of New York from 1983 - 1994
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001
  • Served as Chairman of the New York City Homeless Coalition under New York City Mayor David Dinkins
  • Ran for the Democratic nomination for Governor of New York in 2002 but withdrew from the race
  • Elected to New York State Attorney General in 2006


  • Wants to hold a People's Convention to rewrite the Constitution to make Albany more efficient and trustworthy
  • Pledges to use "the best private sector minds" to overhaul Albany
  • Promises to cap state spending and to freeze the salaries of public employees as part of a one-year emergency fiscal plan that includes zero increases on personal or corporate income taxes or sales taxes
  • Pro-choice on abortion
  • Pro-marriage equality
  • Supports regulation of Wall Street
  • Opposes the death penalty

Other Links

Andrew Cuomo's Campaign Site

Cuomo Takes Queries on Rival, but Doesn’t Answer Them (New York Times, September 16, 2010)

The Making of Andrew Cuomo (New York Times Magazine, August 11, 2010)

Carl Paladino (R)

WNYC Coverage of Carl Paladino:

Carl Paladino's Eight Days as Mr. Establishment (September 22, 2010)

The Bumpy, Impolite and Offensive Campaign of Carl Paladino (September 9, 2010)

The Brian Lehrer Show: Candidate for New York Governor: Paladino (August 30, 2010)

Paladino Raises Off Islamic Center, Hits "Young Cuomo" (August 4, 2010)

Fast Facts

  • Hometown: Buffalo, NY
  • Graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a BA; received JD from Syracuse University College of Law
  • Practiced law in New York for 15 years
  • Registered Democrat until 2005; previously used his wealth to back Democrats including Hillary Clinton and Al Gore
  • Largest landlord for state offices in Buffalo despite his criticism of government spending
  • Controversies surrounding his campaign include leaked emails containing racist and sexist themes and a daughter from outside his marriage; Paladino has admitted that both controversies are true, although he claims he didn't write the emails in question--only forwarded them--and he has a strong and stable relationship with his daughter
  • Tussled with a New York Post editor after reporter tried to photograph his daughter at her home


  • Pledges to immediately cut taxes 10 percent 
  • Promises to cut spending by 20 percent
  • Vows to go after public employee unions to cut the pensions and benefit packages of public employees
  • Has said he will cancel the pension benefits and free health care for state legislators
  • Pledges a one-year residency in New York before citizens can collect welfare of Medicaid
  • Vehemently against building the mosque and cultural center in Lower Manhattan. He has said, "Andrew Cuomo supports the mosque. He says it is about religious freedom and he says the mosque construction should proceed. I say it is disrespectful to the thousands who died on 9-11 and their families, insulting to the thousands of troops who've been killed or injured in the ensuing wars and an affront to American people. And it must be stopped."

Other Links

Carl Paladino's Campaign Site

Paladino and Anger: How Much Is Too Much? (New York Times, September 30, 2010)

Conservative Developer Joins Race for Governor (New York Times, April 5, 2010)

Meet the Other Candidates for Governor

Related Races in New York

Attorney General: Eric Schneiderman vs. Dan Donovan

Congressional District 1: Tim Bishop vs. Randy Altschuler

Congressional District 13: Michael McMahon vs. Michael Grimm

Congressional District 19: John Hall vs. Nan Hayworth