More pressure on Cuomo to quit as top Democrats urge NY governor to resign over harassment claims

Two of New York state governor Andrew Cuomo’s fellow Democrats have called on him to quit over allegations he sexually harassed several women.

His accusers, including some of his female aides, have said he behaved in a sexually suggestive manner and made similar such remarks.

One woman said the 63-year-old had asked her if she would ever have sex with an older man, while another said he had once kissed her without her consent.

Activists have been demanding Andrew Cuomo's resignation  outside his office in New York. Pic: AP
Activists have been demanding Andrew Cuomo’s resignation outside his office in New York. Pic: AP

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Andrew Cuomo said earlier this month that his actions ‘made people feel uncomfortable’ but it was ‘unintentional’ and he feels ‘awful’

The state’s two senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both Democrats, have joined those urging him to step down “due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations”.

“Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York. Governor Cuomo should resign,” they said in a statement issued on Friday evening.

The remarks from Mr Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader and Ms Gillibrand, a senator since 2009, will damage Mr Cuomo’s chances of riding out the storm.

They echo those of another well-known Democrat, progressive New York congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

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She said “we believe these women”, and expressed concern about the safety and well-being of the governor’s staff in a joint statement published with New York congressman Jamaal Bowman.

More than half of the state’s 27 elected representatives have called for the governor to quit.

Reporter Jessica Bakeman became the seventh woman to accuse Mr Cuomo on Friday, saying he had often put his hands on her.

An electronic billboard displays a message that reads "Resign Now" for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in the wake of allegations that he sexually harassed young women, in Albany, New York, U.S., March 3, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar
A billboard in Albany was used by those calling for Mr Cuomo to stand down

While taking a picture with her at a 2014 holiday party, she said he remarked, “I’m sorry. Am I making you uncomfortable? I thought we were going steady,” in a piece she wrote for New York.

Speaking before the latest accusation was made, Mr Cuomo repeated his denial of the allegations and said it was “reckless and dangerous” for politicians to ask him to resign before they have all the facts.

“Women have a right to come forward and be heard, and I encourage that fully. But I also want to be clear: there is still a question of the truth. I did not do what has been alleged, period,” he said.

On Thursday, New York’s state legislature announced it would open an impeachment investigation into the allegations, running parallel to an investigation led by the New York State Attorney General.