Gov. Roy Cooper silent on growing Cuomo scandals

Gov. Roy Cooper listens during a briefing at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. Photo via N.C. Dept. of Public Safety

RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper has thus far maintained silence over the growing scandals around New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — who Cooper, as incoming chairman of the Democratic Governors Association in 2022, would be tasked with defending.

Gov. Cooper has previously called on Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to resign, although Northam did not. Northam, in 2019, faced intense criticism over a racist yearbook photo.

The photo, which was from the Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook, ran alongside details and personal information about Northam. After an investigation, Northam apologized for the photo, saying, “I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.” However, despite the calls from national leaders and the NAACP, he refused to step down.

Virginia governors are constitutionally limited to serving one term, and Northam’s successor will be elected this year in state elections.

“This is a reprehensible picture that is deeply disappointing and I know must come with pain beyond what many of us can even understand. Resignation is the only way forward,” Cooper said at the time.

Cooper also called on former state Rep. Duane Hall to resign after media reports in which people alleged the legislator spoke using sexual innuendo and made unwanted sexual advances. Hall was defeated by state Rep. Allison Dahle in a 2018 primary.

As of Wednesday morning, emails sent to Cooper’s office have gone unanswered.

FILE – This Monday, March 8, 2021, file photo shows New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaking at a vaccination site in New York. A sixth woman has come forward alleging that Cuomo inappropriately touched her late last year, during an encounter at the governor’s mansion. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool, File)

Cuomo has faced calls from his own party in New York to resign for claims he falsified nursing home data to hide the true number of deaths from his orders that sent COVID-19-positive patients into the facilities and for at least four different allegations of sexual harassment.

In an Associated Press report, former aide Lindsey Boylan, 36, accused Cuomo of persistent harassment, including kissing her without consent and suggesting a game of strip poker aboard his state-owned jet. Another former aide, Charlotte Bennett, 25, said Cuomo asked if she ever had sex with older men and said he was fine dating “anyone above the age of 22.”

Cuomo is also the current chairman of the National Governors Association, an organization of the nation’s 55 states, territories and commonwealths and one of the most-respected public policy organizations.

Cooper’s successful re-election campaign hosted its first official event in New York City, an event titled “cocktails and conversation” at the home of a hedge fund manager and prominent Democratic political donor.