NEW YORK STATE -- Governor Andrew Cuomo has nothing but nice things to say about Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, whose primary bid he endorsed on Thursday.
"It's a real pleasure to be here with my friend and a really first rate Mayor Byron Brown," Cuomo said.
But when it comes to thornier primary races in Syracuse and New York City, Cuomo, essentially the leader of the Democratic Party in New York State, says he's not getting involved.
Cuomo said, "There are a number of mayoral elections happening all across the state, obviously not just Syracuse and New York City, but all across the state."
Cuomo told reporters his relationship with Brown and his city is unique. The administration has poured economic development aid into the city and sought to keep the beloved Buffalo Bills in western New York.
"My relationship with Buffalo is different. My relationship with this mayor is different. We go back a long way. My experience in partnership with this mayor, so I think this is an extraordinary situation," Cuomo said.
That special relationship extends to Rochester, where Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy backed his successor Tom Richards for another term.
"He's done a great job. I'm proud of the work that he has done and the fact that he doesn't need to do this. He's chosen to that. It's the ultimate public service," Duffy said.
Cuomo not endorsing in the race for Syracuse mayor comes after incumbent Stephanie Miner publicly broke with the governor on his pension smoothing proposal earlier this year. The break was made all the more eyebrow-raising because Miner is Cuomo's hand-picked Democratic Party co-chairwoman.
And then there's the debate over whether endorsements matter at all. Both Brown and Richards in separate YNN polls wide leads over their Democratic primary endorsements.
Endorsements are more of a window for how the governor feels about a certain city or candidate. And in one of the most closely watched races of the year, where former Governor Eliot Spitzer is trying to mount a comeback, the governor indicated he has no plans to become involved.
"Do you have any plans to endorse in the New York City comptroller's race at all?" a reporter asked.
"No," Cuomo replied.