Numerous state lawmakers and members of New York’s Democratic Party have signed a draft letter calling on Gov. Hochul to get rid of the state party chair in the wake of painful midterm elections, the Daily News has learned.
“The State Democratic Party — led by Cuomo appointee Jay Jacobs — failed to commit the time, energy and resources necessary to maintain our deep-blue status: 4 Congressional seats flipped to Republican control, and Governor Hochul won by a slim majority — the smallest in two decades,” the draft letter states, echoing widespread criticism of Jacobs’ stewardship of the party during the midterms.
“Jay Jacobs is not fit to serve as Chair of the State Democratic Party, and it’s time for Governor Hochul to work with the party to elect a focused, determined, unifying party leader,” the letter continues.
Since last week’s midterms, in which Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and three other Democratic reps lost their seats, Hochul has stood by Jacobs even as criticism of him has grown louder.
“I think he did a great job as chair,” the governor told reporters on Thursday. “We’re not changing anything.”
Still, letter organizers voiced hope that Hochul would work with them on ushering Jacobs out and picking a replacement. Names of the signers were not immediately known.
“We, the undersigned, are ready to work with Governor Hochul to elect a real party leader who embodies actual democratic values and is — as our party website clearly states — ‘committed to building a party that ensures New Yorkers have progressive, fair, and dedicated leaders at every level of government,’” states the letter.
Progressives have been calling for Jacobs’ ouster since former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace in summer 2021. He drew their ire later that year when the party refused to back India Walton’s ultimately successful run for mayor of Buffalo — with Hochul supporting him throughout the saga.
“Jay is a Cuomo holdover and this letter reflects the eagerness of everyone who’s signing to have a fresh start with Gov. Hochul in her first full term,” Erica Vladimer, one of the state committee members who drafted the letter, told the Daily News.
More than 600 people — including more than a dozen lawmakers — have signed the document and they plan to give it to Hochul early this week, according to Vladimer.
“It’s state committee members, county committee members, district leaders and advocates and activists from across the state,” she said. “We are tired of state party being led by someone who doesn’t have the party’s best interest at heart.”