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Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday hailed Eric Adams’ strong lead in the city’s Democratic mayoral primary — and said the departure of Mayor Bill de Blasio can’t come soon enough.
During a news conference in Manhattan, Cuomo repeatedly blasted de Blasio and predicted his relationship with whoever succeeds Hizzoner “will be better, by definition.”
“There are hundreds of mayors in New York I work with all of them,” Cuomo said.
“It’s hard for me to work with an administration that is hyper-political and is not competent.”
Cuomo offered his congratulations to Adams but added that he wasn’t sure if the first-choice results from Tuesday’s ranked-choice voting meant the Brooklyn borough president and former NYPD captain would ultimately emerge the victor.
But Cuomo said, “I think in general electing a new mayor is very, very positive for the city.”
“Confidence in the mayor is very, very important. Confidence in the leadership of the mayor and the competence of the mayor is very important,” he said.
“And I think with a new mayor you’re gonna see both an increase in the confidence in leadership and increase in the competence of the management of New York City.”
Cuomo added: “And I think that is going to be a major, major plus.”
Cuomo railed against the city’s surging problems with crime and homelessness, calling the quality of life in the Big Apple “the pressing issue of the day.”
Cuomo said he had a good relationship with Adams, a former state senator from Brooklyn, and predicted he “will instill confidence” in part due to his status as a former cop.
“I think he is a person who will step up and show real leadership, especially on the issue of quality of life and crime,” he said.
Cuomo then took another shot at de Blasio, saying, “Doing nothing is the worst thing that you can do — and that’s what has happened here.”
The governor also unveiled plans for a “Circle of Heroes” monument in Battery Park City in what appeared to be the latest salvo in his war of one-upmanship with the mayor in celebrating the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, one day after de Blasio announced a July 7 ticker-tape parade to honor the city’s doctors and nurses, Cuomo’s office arranged fireworks displays across the state to mark his lifting of mask-wearing and social-distancing rules for vaccinated New Yorkers.
On Wednesday, Cuomo said a ring of 19 maple trees would be planted near the northwest corner of Battery Park City to recognize various categories of essential workers, ranging from medical workers to store employees, delivery drivers and teachers.
Cuomo — who when he lifted coronavirus restrictions notably neglected to mention the estimated 50,000-plus New Yorkers killed by the disease — also said there would also be an eternal flame in the center of the circle, “honoring those we lost.”
The new “Essential Workers Park” will officially open on Labor Day, he said.
Also Wednesday, Cuomo said he would not be renewing New York’s pandemic-related state of emergency when it expires on Thursday.
The governor, who repeatedly renewed the state of emergency after initially imposing it on March 7, 2020, repeated a familiar series of talking points while making the announcement.
In a series of tweets, de Blasio spokesman Bill Neidhardt attacked Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, saying that he could have saved lived by shutting down the city earlier than he died and posted a meme-style clip from “Max Max: Fury Road” to call his remarks about Eric Adams “bait.”
“This is all coming from an insecure man so mired in his own scandals that he’s actively rooting against New York City,” Neidhardt said.
Additional reporting by Nolan Hicks
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