The group of Democrats who called for Cuomo’s resignation came mainly from districts in or around New York City, such as representatives Adriano Espaillat, Yvette Clarke and Grace Meng. This also included Rep. Antonio Delgado, whose vast district includes the Hudson Valley, and Rep. Brian Higgins, who represents Buffalo. All eleven lawmakers released statements within minutes on Friday morning indicating a coordinated effort to drive Cuomo out of office.
“Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of the New York people,” Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. “Governor Cuomo must resign.”
The governor’s office did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday. Cuomo’s allies had tried to persuade Democrats to wait for independent investigations into the allegations to complete before passing judgment or asking him to stand aside.
The New York governor has been charged by several women with sexual misconduct ranging from lewd conversation to fumbling with an employee at the governor’s mansion late last year – an allegation recently referred to Albany police.
Cuomo has denied allegations against him but apologized for making people uncomfortable with his actions. He has also steadfastly refused to resign, saying it would be anti-democratic for him to do so.
Several key New York Democrats did not participate in Friday’s campaign, including House Democatic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney.
New York Attorney General Tish James is in the middle of an investigation into allegations made against Cuomo over the past few weeks. These efforts were anchored by two outside lawyers. And the Democrat-led state assembly, which would initiate potential impeachment proceedings, announced plans on Thursday to launch its own subpoena probe.
The ten lawmakers join MP Kathleen Rice, who was among the earliest elected Democrats to call for the governor’s resignation. Republicans in the New York congressional delegation and at the state level have also called for Cuomo’s overthrow.
Senators weren’t quick to ask about Cuomo’s exit, including the New York delegation. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the latest allegation on Thursday on SiriusXm satellite radio “nausea” and called for an investigation, but stopped telling Cuomo to leave starting Friday morning. Schumer is up for re-election in 2022 and could face a primary challenge from the left by one of the progressive members of the House.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who was among the senators urging former Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) To resign, said the state-owned company should investigate the “grave” allegations.
Burgess Everett contributed to this report.