ALBANY — The New York Times editorial board announced Tuesday that it will not endorse a candidate in the Democratic Primary for governor but nonetheless delivered a stinging reproach to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
In an opinion piece published online Tuesday, the board said it could not endorse the Democratic governor because he has failed to address ethics reforms and the influence of money in government.
“The state government remains as subservient to big money as ever, and Mr. Cuomo resisted and even shut down opportunities to fix it,” the editorial board wrote. “Because he broke his most important promise, we have decided not to make an endorsement for the Democratic primary on Sept. 9.”
But while the board praised reform proposals from Cuomo’s liberal challenger, Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout, it concluded she lacks the experience to govern or to deal with “the snarling self-interest of the Legislature.”
The unusual non-endorsement comes after The Times and other publications reported that Cuomo’s administration blocked the progress of a state anti-corruption commission as it moved to investigate groups tied to the governor.
Teachout’s long-shot bid to oust Cuomo highlights the fragile relationship he has with many liberals, who have criticized him for supporting business-friendly tax policies and charter schools. But she is so little known that pollsters haven’t bothered to survey the race.
“Those who want to register their disappointment with Mr. Cuomo’s record on changing the culture of Albany may well decide that the best way to do that is to vote for Ms. Teachout,” the board wrote. “Despite our reservations about her, that impulse could send a powerful message.”
A Cuomo campaign spokesman said he had no comment on the non-endorsement. A message left with Teachout’s campaign was not immediately returned.