Welcome to the Wednesday, August 11, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces resignation
- Here’s an update on Seattle’s Aug. 3 municipal elections
- One year ago — on Aug. 11, 2020 — Biden selected Kamala Harris as his running mate
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces resignation
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced he would resign effective Aug. 24. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) will serve the remainder of Cuomo’s term, which ends on Jan. 1, 2023. New York’s next gubernatorial election will take place in November 2022.
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) released a report on Aug. 3 that said Cuomo “sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.” James began the investigation in February.
The New York State Assembly had initiated impeachment proceedings against Cuomo in March, examining the allegations of sexual misconduct among other accusations of impeachable conduct. At the time of Cuomo’s announcement, the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee had planned to finish its impeachment inquiry by Aug. 13, allowing for a vote on impeachment later this month or in September. Had Cuomo been impeached, the next step would have been a trial before the state Senate.
Cuomo denied these allegations, saying, in part, “To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable.” At a press conference announcing his resignation, Cuomo said, “Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing. And therefore that’s what I’ll do.”
Cuomo was first elected governor in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 and 2018. He was New York’s attorney general from 2007 to 2010. Cuomo also served in President Bill Clinton’s (D) cabinet as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1997 to 2001.
Hochul was elected lieutenant governor in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. Before that, she served in the U.S. House from 2011 to 2013 after winning a special election. Hochul will be the first woman governor in the state’s history.
Since 1776, 218 state governors have resigned before the expiration of their term. Andrew Johnson (D) resigned as Governor of Tennessee on two separate occasions, so there have been 219 gubernatorial resignations. Of these, 76% took place because the governor was elected or appointed to another office, 7% took place following allegations of misconduct, and 17% were for various personal reasons, such as illness or policy disputes with the state legislature.
Cuomo is the ninth governor of New York to resign. Six resigned to take another office, and three resigned following allegations of misconduct. New York’s last elected governor, Eliot Spitzer (D), resigned in 2008 amid allegations of misconduct. Spitzer’s lieutenant governor, David Paterson (D), served through 2010. Twelve governors of New Jersey have resigned, more than any other state.
Here’s an update on Seattle’s Aug. 3 municipal elections
The deadline for voters to send their ballots in Seattle’s top-two primaries for mayor, city council, and city attorney was Aug. 3. Since elections in Washington are conducted entirely by mail, it often takes a few weeks to determine the outcome. In all Seattle municipal races, the top-two finishers advance to the general election on Nov. 2.
Here’s where these races stand as of Aug. 10:
Incumbent Pete Holmes conceded to challengers Ann Davison and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy on Aug. 6. Holmes was first elected city attorney in 2009 and won re-election unopposed in 2013. In 2017, he defeated Scott Lindsay for a third term, 75% to 25%.
Unofficial results have Thomas-Kennedy leading with 35.5% of the vote, followed by Davison with 33% and Holmes with 31.2%. Thomas-Kennedy is a former public defender and criminal and eviction attorney. Davison is an attorney and arbitrator who ran as a Republican for Lieutenant Governor of Washington in 2020.
In Seattle, the city attorney heads the city’s Law Department and supervises all litigation in which the city is involved.
Former city council member Bruce Harrell leads with 34%, and city council president Lorena González is second with 32% among the 15-candidate field. Colleen Echohawk—who is third with 10% of the vote—has conceded, as has Jessyn Farrell, who is fourth with 7%.
Incumbent Jenny Durkan, elected in 2017, did not run for re-election.
Incumbent Teresa Mosqueda leads 10 other candidates for one at-large city council seat with 59% of the vote. Kenneth Wilson is in second with 16%. In the race for the other at-large position, Nikkita Oliver leads with 40%, and Sara Nelson is second with 39.5%. This seat is open since incumbent Lorena González is running for mayor.
The city’s other seven council seats are elected by district every four years, with the next elections in 2023.
One year ago — on Aug. 11, 2020 — Biden selected Kamala Harris as his running mate
One year ago today, President Joe Biden (D) selected then-California Sen. Kamala Harris (D) as his vice presidential running mate. In a tweet sent that day, Biden said, “Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”
Harris was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016. She served as the attorney general of California from 2011 to 2017 and district attorney of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011. Harris ran for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination from January to December 2019.
Harris is the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent to appear on a major party’s presidential ticket in the United States.
Biden announced his selection of Harris the week before the rescheduled 2020 Democratic National Convention, which was originally set to take place July 13-16, 2020. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers postponed the convention to the week of Aug.t 17, 2020. Most of the convention’s events took place remotely.
During the 2016 cycle, Donald Trump (R) announced he had selected Mike Pence (R) as his running mate via Twitter on July 15, 2016, and Pence was formally nominated at the Republican National Convention on July 19. Hillary Clinton (D) announced she had selected Tim Kaine (D) to be her running mate on July 22, 2016, and Kaine was formally nominated at the 2016 Democratic National Convention on July 27.