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Cuomo praises Duffy's work as lieutenant governor

Rochester Business Journal
May 8, 2014

Calling his selection of Robert Duffy to be lieutenant governor “the first and best decision I made,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday praised the former Rochester mayor for his work in Albany and called him a true friend.

Duffy announced Wednesday in a letter to Cuomo that he would not seek re-election to a second four-year term.

“Bob has not just been a great partner in governing our state, he has also been a true friend,” Cuomo said in a statement released late Thursday morning.

A copy of Duffy’s letter, dated May 7, was included in the announcement from Cuomo’s office. Duffy’s term ends Dec. 31.

“My decision not to run again is neither a career decision nor a political one, but rather it is a life decision,” Duffy said in the letter, citing constant back and leg pain resulting from weekly travel of thousands of miles statewide.

“While I do not like to offer excuses for anything, I would be disingenuous if I did not state that the pain of travel has increased to the point that I cannot commit to a second term,” Duffy wrote.

“While I appreciate your offer to reduce my travel, I do not wish to continue in this role and operate at a reduced level because I believe New Yorkers deserve a lieutenant governor who is able to work and travel at the pace I was able to over the past four years.”

Duffy joined the Rochester Police Department in 1976. He was named chief of police in 1998 by former Mayor William Johnson Jr., and retired as police chief in 2005 to run for mayor.

Duffy defeated City Council members Wade Norwood—the endorsed candidate of the Monroe County Democratic Committee—and Tim Mains in the primary elections, and city attorney John Parrinello in the general election.

Cuomo convinced Duffy to run as his lieutenant governor in spring 2010. The ticket won in the November election, and Duffy resigned as mayor at the end of the year.

“Over the course of his distinguished career, Robert Duffy has shown an unparalleled commitment to improving the lives of those around him,” Cuomo said. “And over the past few years as lieutenant governor, Bob has carried the mantle of progress and opportunity to every corner of the state.”  

Duffy was mentioned in 2013 as a potential successor to Sandra Parker as president and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance Inc., and acknowledged interviewing for the position.

Parker, who announced in May 2013 that she would retire at year’s end, has delayed her retirement into this year.

Duffy made no mention of his future plans in his letter to Cuomo. He and wife Barbara sold their home in the Browncroft neighborhood in May 2013 and purchased a Keuka Lake cottage from Parker.

“I never accepted your invitation to become your running mate so that I could seek higher or other statewide office,” Duffy wrote to Cuomo. “I simply chose to run with you because you asked me, and because I chose to support you and your administration.”

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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