NEW YORK — Shortly after Gov. Andrew Cuomo officially opened the second span of the Hudson River Bridge, the governor’s younger brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, took to social media to say their father would not have wanted the former Tappan Zee Bridge named after him.
“Pop would not have liked this,” Chris Cuomo said of his father, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. “He would’ve loved the new bridge…he was a big believer in updating infrastructure. But he was very humble and thought having something named after him sent the wrong message abt (sic) public service.”
Mario Cuomo was New York’s secretary of state from 1975 to 1978, before serving as lieutenant governor from 1979 to 1982, then governor from 1983 to 1994. He died in 2015.
Mario Cuomo believed public service was about the “we” not the “me,” Chris Cuomo said in an Instagram post.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to rename the Tappan Zee Bridge after his father has caused uproar among some New Yorkers, and during last week’s gubernatorial debate, his challenger Cynthia Nixon accused him of using it as publicity before Thursday’s election.
The bridge’s former name was officially the Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge, and paid homage to several people, Chris Cuomo noted. “Malcolm Wilson” after New York’s governor in 1973 and 1974, “Tappan” after an Indian tribe from the area and “zee” being the Dutch word for sea.
The first span of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, which connects Westchester and Rockland counties, opened last year.
The governor celebrated the opening of the second span with his mother, Mario Cuomo’s widow, with a pre-ceremony ride in a restored 1932 Packard convertible owned by Franklin D. Roosevelt on Friday.