Cuomo wins race, faces tough road - Metro US

Cuomo wins race, faces tough road

Well, that might have been the easy part.

Andrew Cuomo takes the reins of New York as governor in January, but campaign season might have just been the warm-up.

Beating Republican Carl Paladino by a wide margin in exit polls, Cuomo now faces a bulging budget, disenchanted public and an array of promises to fulfill.

The win was something of a comeback for Cuomo, 52. A Queens native and the son of former governor Mario Cuomo, he sought the top office himself in 2004 before dropping out. Since then, he’s tried to change his hot-tempered reputation, investigating big businesses and bankers as attorney general.

So what can voters expect during his first 100 days in office?

Cuomo’s eyed the $315 million budget gap first, promising a fix without raising taxes.

“He’ll be very aggressive with hiring and firing, getting fresh blood in Albany,” said Christina Greer, assistant professor of political science at Fordham University.

Pet projects like local bridges will likely get the ax, she said.

Cuomo also needs to charm a state where 83 percent of New Yorkers called the government dysfunctional in a Quinnipiac poll in June.

John Kaehny, executive director of reform group Reinvent Albany, said voters want honesty. Transparency from day one — like budget breakdowns online — might regain public trust.

“It’s not going to work if he just jumps into the swamp and says, ‘I’m the good guy,’” he said.

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