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Gov. Cuomo Says He's Not Surprised By Lack of Union Endorsements

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Albany/HV: Gov. Cuomo Says He's Not Surprised By Lack of Union Endorsements
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Governor Andrew Cuomo finds himself in a unique position this election cycle - without the support of the some of the state's major unions.

The state's major public employee unions are either sitting out the race or backing his primary challenger, Zephyr Teachout.

Cuomo said the lack of endorsements isn't surprising.

"I also said to the public employee unions that the budget was too big and taxes were too high and we were going to have to streamline the state government because we couldn't afford it anymore," said Gov. Cuomo, D-New York.

Teachout was endorsed by the Public Employees Federation. CSEA, the state's largest public workers union, is yet to issue an endorsement and the statewide teachers union is also waiting.

"Teachers and CSEA – we have a legitimate difference of opinion. We did for the past four years, my guess is we will for the next four years," Cuomo said.

Cuomo has always had a rocky relationship with public unions. When he took office in 2011, he distributed a book about Governor Hugh Carey's efforts to control state spending during the fiscal crisis of the 1970s.

Still, Cuomo has the backing of key labor groups that represent health care and hotel workers.

"I have the overwhelming support of the union movement in this state and I'm very proud of it," said Cuomo.

While Cuomo touts his record, the campaign of Teachout and her running mate, Tim Wu, is attacking the voting record of his running mate, former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul. She represented a heavily Republican district in western New York, and Hochul says she still voted on progressive principles.

"Progressives in Congress know I stood up for health care at a time when it wasn't popular in my district -- the Affordable Care Act. One hundred percent pro-choice record, a strong labor record," Hochul said.

The Teachout-Wu campaign points to Hochul's conservative stances on gun control, immigration and supporting a censure of Attorney General Eric Holder. But Hochul has since come out in support of New York's gun control law, known as the SAFE Act, as well as the Dream Act, which would give tuition access to undocumented immigrants.

"I'm not concerned at all. I'm out there talking to the people who I believe are going to want to support someone who has the experience, the knowledge and the aptitude to run a state like this," said Hochul.

Hochul may not be concerned, but the state Democratic party still isn't leaving the Sept. 9 primary to chance. They've sent out a mailer urging Democrats to vote for the governor and Hochul.

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