Gov. Cuomo promotes partner Kathy Hochul while opponent Tim Wu becomes bigger threat

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(PIX11) -- On Tuesday, New Yorkers will get a chance to participate in what could be one of the most unusual primary elections in a generation.

As Gov. Andrew Cuomo seeks to again receive the nomination of his party, his fellow Democratic opponent, Fordham Law School professor Zephyr Teachout, carries on her David vs. Goliath campaign. Thanks to her pick of a running mate, the election could get turned on its ear.

On Monday afternoon, Cuomo did something he's rarely done during this primary election season:  he actually campaigned -- hard -- at a boisterous rally at the headquarters of the Hotel Trades Council, one of New York's strongest labor organizations.

In contrast to the hundreds of cheering and shouting union members waving Cuomo-Hochul placards at the union headquarters in Midtown, the Cuomo team's opponents were in a small meeting room in NoHo, facing a couple dozen of their supporters.

At the front of the NoHo room stood Alexis Ohaninan, one of the two founders of reddit, the social media and news website.

"I'm here, because I want to be in New York," said Ohanian, who sold his tech startup in San Francisco eight years ago for between $10 to $20 million.

He formally endorsed the Teachout-Wu ticket because "when I saw [the Teachout-Wu] tech policy proposal, I got giddy."

He called the alternative Democratic ticket's plan for keeping and growing hi-tech in New York "a 21st Century plan that actually makes my heart grow a few sizes."

Teachout's running mate, Tim Wu, is actually widely considered to be one of the great heroes of the Internet.   He actually invented the term "net neutrality," the principle of ensuring that Internet service providers not prohibit anyone from gaining access to the worldwide web, and that service providers not favor any one user over any other.

"The very basics of net neutrality," Wu told PIX11 News, "is that you cannot let systems get corrupted.  We need the New York economy to be a system where you don't win because you're friends with the governor."

In addition to having endorsements from so-called new media (he also received an endorsement on Monday from the founder of, Wu has received an endorsement from a major player in long-established media.

The New York Times endorsed Wu for lieutenant governor, leaving Cuomo to go to some lengths in the past few weeks to promote his pick for lieutenant governor, former member of Congress from upstate in Erie County, Kathy Hochul.

"If you're going to pick someone ... for the second-most-important position in New York state," said Cuomo to hundreds of cheering union members at Monday's rally, "it would be nice if they had experience and knew something about government, wouldn't it?"

In New York's Democratic primary election, voters separately choose the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor.

So it's possible that Cuomo would end up on Wednesday entering the general election with Wu as his running mate -- someone he didn't select. That very thing had happened to Cuomo's father, former New York governor Mario Cuomo.

"He was forced to govern with then Lieutenant Governor Al Del Bello, who was his opponent," said Iona College political science professor Jeanne Zaino about the result of the primary election of 1982.

"They governed together after two years.  Of course, Al Del Bello left the lieutenant governor's office," said Zaino.  "It wasn't a happy marriage."

Andrew Cuomo's strategy now appears to be to promote his running mate, Kathy Hochul in every possible way, and to ignore his opposing ticket.

In fact, video of Gov. Cuomo completely ignoring Teachout at Saturday's Labor Day Parade in Manhattan has been getting significant numbers of views among people interested in the election.

For his part, Gov. Cuomo said the situation has been misinterpreted.  "I never saw her," he said at a press gaggle after Monday's political rally.  "If anything, I  failed an eyesight test.  I did not see her."

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