News & Politics

Tough Day for Dr. Cohen


If Charlie Rangel and Percy Sutton are peeved that Eliot Spitzer has selected State Sen. David Paterson as his running mate rather than their candidate, Leecia Eve, imagine how Jon Cohen feels?

Cohen is one of the also-runs for the second spot on the Democratic ticket. Like Eve, he made the rounds at Democratic campaign events this fall, including introducing himself to the Voice a few minutes before Freddy Ferrer conceded defeat at the Waldorf-Astoria. The Queens native, who now lives in Nassau County, is chief medical officer of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and teaches surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His campaign has highlighted health care issues. He has about half a million bucks on hand—or twice what Eve reports. But while Cohen can point to support from the likes of the Steuben County Democratic chair, Eve has garnered more downstate backing and press attention.

Now a pop quiz: Who is New York’s current lieutenant governor?

    • A. Mary Robinson

B. Mary Mitchell

C. Mary Donohue

D. Mary Ross

The answer is C. If you knew that without looking it up, you’re one up on Power Plays.

Given the position’s relative obscurity, it might seem odd that some Democrats fear Spitzer could split his support by naming Paterson rather than Eve. Like, who cares? Well, when the Voice asked Cohen on election night why he’d want to be lieutenant governor, he said it would give him a chance to weigh in on the myriad problems affecting health care access and delivery in the Empire State. And Mario Cuomo was a lieutenant guv at one time.

Cuomo eventually became governor and was a putative presidential candidate. Betsy McCaughey eventually fell out of favor with George Pataki, ran against him as a Democrat and then a Liberal, lost, and then divorced investor Wilbur Ross (owner of the Sago mine where the 12 guys just died). So, you know, it could go either way.


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