In perhaps the strongest sign yet that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s political support among Democrats is buckling under the pressure of mounting allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, more than fifty Democratic state lawmakers signed on to a statement demanding he step down and allow Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul take over leadership of the state.

“The governor needs to put the people of New York first,” the statement sent out Thursday morning reads. “It is time for Governor Cuomo to resign.”

The group of lawmakers, which includes some progressive freshman lawmakers as well as the longest serving member of the body, pushed back on earlier calls from a group of Cuomo allies in state government and members of the clergy, who had urged New Yorkers to await the results of Attorney General Letitia James’s investigation before jumping to conclusions.

“Attorney General James has made clear that her independent investigation will continue,” today's statement reads. “No change in state leadership will change or impede her office’s important work.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also joined the chorus Thursday morning, citing the most recent report from the Albany Times Union as a tipping point. The report described an account from a current staffer who said she was summoned to the residential quarters of the governor’s executive mansion where Cuomo “aggressively groped” her late last year. She reportedly spoke to a supervisor after hearing Cuomo’s insistence at last week’s press conference that he had never touched anyone inappropriately.


“It’s deeply troubling the specific allegations that the governor called an employee of his, someone he had power over her, called her to a private place and then sexually assaulted her, is absolutely unacceptable, it is disgusting to me," de Blasio said. “He can no longer serve as governor. It’s a simple as that.”

Cuomo’s office did not return a request for comment immediately Thursday morning, though he denied the latest allegation late Wednesday. He also has said he would not step down, calling it “anti-democratic.”

While a growing number of lawmakers have called for his resignation, fewer have said they are willing to vote to impeach Cuomo. As of Thursday morning, 13 Democratic lawmakers in the state legislature have said they would vote to impeach, according to a running tally of lawmakers.

Meanwhile, all Republican State Senators called for Cuomo to resign and demanded an impeachment proceeding if he didn’t step down.


State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins had called for Cuomo’s resignation on Sunday, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie had stopped just short of doing the same. Heastie, however, who has the power to initiate impeachment proceedings, indicated a slight shift in tone Thursday morning.

“In light of the allegations concerning the Governor over the last several weeks, I will be meeting with members in conference today on potential paths forward,” he said in a statement.

Update: The Attorney General's investigators have created a website, AG Independent Investigation, to field information for their probe. The website says, "This website was created by the Special Deputies to the First Deputy Attorney General of New York to gather information relating to the investigation into sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. If you have information relevant to the investigation, you can contact the Special Deputies in the following ways: 212-225-3100 for voice messages;; 518-545-0870 for text messages."