Metro

Hochul fundraises ahead of 2022 primary, AG James challenge

ALBANY — The race is on!

Gov. Kathy Hochul is furiously fundraising as she’s expected to face fierce challenges from state Attorney General Letitia James and others in her 2022 reelection bid — even attending an event hosted by one of Albany’s top-grossing lobbying firms headed by the father of disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide.

Hochul attended a max $25,000-per plate fundraiser at the Capital Grille in Midtown on Tuesday night hosted by top Bolton-St. John’s lobbyist and partner Emily Giske — and limited attendees solely to the firm’s lobbyist and clients.

Bolton St. John’s is ranked third in the Joint Commission on Public Ethics’ top ten list of Albany’s highest-paid lobbying outfits in the state in both 2020 and 2019.

Their Albany office was started by Giorgio DeRosa, also a partner, who is the father of Cuomo’s former top aide Melissa DeRosa.

Hochul has been hitting up top firms with business before the state since taking office in August — telling supporters she has a goal of raising $25 million before next year.

She also attended an afternoon, client-only fundraiser hosted by consulting firm Dickenson & Avella, PLLC Tuesday, before the Bolton-St. John’s soiree.

She went to a max $10,000 per ticket reception Wednesday morning at Lafayette 148 in SoHo hosted by business honchos, The Post learned.

On October 4, she attended a fundraiser at the Upper East digs of film producer Jana Edelbaum and her husband, Michael Abbott, co-founder and chairman of the cannabis firm Columbia Care, currently licensed to provide medicinal marijuana to New York patients.

AG Letitia James will reportedly announce that she is running for governor soon.
AG Letitia James will reportedly announce that she is running for governor soon.
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Last month, Ostroff Associates Inc. — another top Albany lobbying outfit — also hosted a client-only fundraiser for the new governor.

Her campaign — Friends for Kathy Hochul — sends out campaign advisories, but conspicuously leaves off the name of the sponsors.

Bolton St. John’s represents an array of clients from industries with business before the state that can deliver hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions combined for a candidate for governor.

The firm represents a network of casino interests — including gaming giant Delaware North, which employs Hochul’s husband, William Hochul, who is senior president and legal counsel; The Seneca Nations and St. Regis Mohawk tribes and Las Vegas-based Caesar’s Enterprises.

The lobbying firm also represents many clients in the heavily regulated health care industry — including the Greater New York Hospital Association and health insurers Cigna and Humana, and Pfizer, the giant pharmaceutical manufacturer that produced the coronavirus vaccines and COVID lab testing outfit Quest Diagnostics.

Other Bolton St. John clients include: Google, NBC Universal, food packaging giant Dart Container Corporation, Airbnb, food delivery app Doordash,  private jet company NetJets, wind turbine company Equinox Wind Services, Fuel Cell Energy Inc., the union representing cannabis workers Local 338 of RWDSU, the Durst Organization,  the NYC PBA, Beer Wholesalers. KeyBank, the Recording Industry of America, and Top Tobacco.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is also potentially running for the Democratic nomination in 2022.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is also potentially running for the Democratic nomination in 2022.
Photo by Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

Sources confirmed Wednesday James will officially announce that she is running for governor within the coming days. New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams has already announced his intentions to run and has filed. a campaign account with the state Board of Elections. Other potential challengers include outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio and Long Island Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi.

Both Hochul and James have been seen attending high profile events — they went to the swanky Alfred E. Smith dinner last Thursday, the biggest fundraiser hosted annually by the Archdiocese of New York.

Last Sunday, the pair separately attended the Westchester County Democratic Committee dinner.

The pair both delivered remarks Monday at the 43rd Public Employees Federal annual convention.

On Wednesday, they both were honored at the 5:30 p.m. fall reception at Harbor NYC hosted by Eleanor’s Legacy — the Democratic organization founded to train female candidates to run for office.


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