(CNN) - New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo formally announced Saturday that he's running for governor.
"My campaign is this simple: I represent the people of the great state of New York and we want our government back," says Cuomo, in a video released by his campaign. Cuomo was scheduled to hold a formal campaign kick off event Saturday afternoon in New York City.
New York's current governor, fellow Democrat David Paterson, announced in March that he would not run this year for a full term in office. Paterson became governor in 2008 after Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace following a sex scandal.
Cuomo, the son of former three-term New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, has been widely expected for many months to make a bid for Paterson's job.
"Our state government in Albany is disreputable and discredited. New York State is upside down and backwards. High taxes and low performance. The New York State government was at one time a national model. Now unfortunately it's a national disgrace," adds Cuomo. "We must use this moment to reorganize the government, reform its ethics, and restructure its finances to solve the problems we have ignored for too long."
Polls in the Empire State indicate that New York State voters overwhelming support Cuomo for his work as the state's top law enforcement official. Surveys also suggest that Cuomo holds very large leads over possible Republican contenders in hypothetical general election matchups. Former Rep. Rick Lazio, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy - a Democrat turned Republican - and Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, are among the leading contenders for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Cuomo also holds a large fundraising lead over his opponents.
Cuomo's announcement comes three days before New York State Democrats hold their nominating convention.
The 52-year-old Cuomo was secretary of Housing and Urban Development in President Bill Clinton's second term. He unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in New York in 2002, which was followed by a messy public divorce from his wife, Kerry Kennedy. Cuomo bounced back in 2006 to win the state's attorney general seat.
In his video, Cuomo spoke openly about his difficult times earlier this decade: "A few years ago I ran for governor and I lost and I then went through a very difficult time in my personal life. It was a public humiliation. People said it was over for me. They said my public service career was finished. There
was no way that I could come back. Some days even I thought they were right. Well it wasn't easy, but I worked hard, and with the help of true friends and family I built back. And with the compassion and empathy of New Yorkers you gave me a second chance."
In the past two years Cuomo has been back in the national spotlight, as his office has investigated corruption on Wall Street.
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn
I love living Florida but am sorry I can't get back to NYS to vote for Andrew Cuomo. Intelligence is so rare it has to be valued where ever it is found.
I'm so thrilled that Andrew Cuomo is stepping into this race. He has the best shot to win this seat and he'll be the best person for the job. I have to admit, I'm a supporter of David Paterson, but he doesn't hold the support that Attorney General Cuomo does.
I love forward to a very decent and fair campaign run by him, and look forward to seeing him change the way this state is so poorly run. I believe all of us NYers, democrat and republican, are ashamed of how this state is so careless and disorganized. Our state politicians all fail to recognize that they are put there to serve us, not to serve their own greed and laziness.
Well, at least the state budget isn't 2 months late.
Sensible in FL: Totally agree with you. I love living in Texas but we could certainly use an Andrew Cuomo here.
To bad I'm Living in Florida otherwise I'll vote for Andrew Coumo in a heartbeat...
I'm sorry to see Cuomo leave his position, but welcome his announcement to run for Governor. I just hope we get someone as equally qualified for the next AG.
Sorry, but Cuomo is no Paladino. It's refreshing to have someone like Carl in the race to represent us for once...
Andrew Cuome is the last thing NY state needs. First he is a giant conflict of interest. He is going after banks for something he was accused of just two years ago himself. His father nearly destroyed this state with his liberal ideas. We need someone who is going to focus on one thing. Cutting taxes for businesses and residents. School enrollments across the state are forcasting lower enrollments. Why,because families are fleeing this state because jobs are few and taxes are outrageous! We need a republican Govenor.
Natuve New Yorker now residing in Virginia. My motto is also I Love NY and I would love to be able to vote for Andrew Cuomo. Loved his father when I lived in NY and feel Andrew would be extension of his beliefs and politics. Intellegence does count. This has been proven in the past with what we have had do deal with both state-wide and in the federal government. Good luck to Andrew Cuomo. I will following NY state politics closely.
It's beginning to sound more than a little redundent to hear those who say "we want our government back" or "government doesn't work" but they yet are all fighting to get into government.
Everyone wants to take their country back.......but lets clarify on who took it away from America people......please
New York is BACK!
Andrew would be a GREAT Governor, for the State of New York. I'm surprised he didn't win back in '02.
Cuomo is a fool for doing this. As Attorney General he had the ability to effect positive change. As Governor he will be handicapped by the Legislature that refuses to reform. The only thing that can save this state is if the electorate wakes up and votes the career politicians out of the legislature. That doesn't seem terribly likely to happen anytime soon.
Governor of NYS is where political careers go to die. If he manages to win he will look back on this decision as a huge mistake.
I am so glad he is running. I had the honor of meeting him where I used to work. Very nice man. Good luck Andrew. I will be voting for you up here in Plattsburgh, NY.
Probably the smartest individual you can find to run the State's top job
Remember his Dad's underground campaign slogan "vote for Cuomo, not the [pejorative for his gay opponent Ed Koch]"? Spitzer was a hetero ho patron, and Patterson is what John Lennon once called Ray Charles. These NY politicians are tough!
I think his comments can relate to the entire country at this time.
one cuomo was enough as governor. this one seems to have a higher goal, and would use that office to further his political career much like hillary clinton did as senator. i think it's time for a unknown to try their hand – since all these known people have done nothing to help nys more than their political allies and special interest groups.
Anybody who asks Algore to help him can't be too intelligent....
If he turns out to be as outstanding as his father was, New York will again become the national model for good government.
Good luck to you, Andrew.
Andrew has already cost you thousands if you own real estate in any state. Just search Cuomo and HVCC in google and the story is the same nationwide. He has put the best appraisers coast to coast out of business by making a policy to use inexperienced appraisers and letting fat cat friends keep half of what you pay for an appraisal. This has lead to novices doing appraisals which in turn leads to poor appraisals, bad mortgages, or no mortgages.
I am not a Democrat or Republican, but it is refreshing to hear that someone is willing to at least confess that a government is truly and fundamentally broken, even if it meant knocking a fellowing party member. Hopefully he will make good on his promises. I thought his father was a great man(even though a poor governor). Hopefully, he can have the stomach to follow through on the horrendously tough decisions he would face if elected.
Best of luck.
If you win, I will be sorry to lose you as State Attorney General. You have done a great job for the consumer!
Cuomo will take back the government from who?
Democrats running afgainst Democrats with the same failed policies of tax and spend?
People in New York must be crazy to hope that there will be change!
Hes gonna be a great Governor and early front runner for 2016.