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Carl McCall in Massena during his 2002 run for governor.
Carl McCall in Massena during his 2002 run for governor.

Cuomo appoints former political rival Carl McCall head of SUNY board

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Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday named a previous political rival, the former State Comptroller Carl McCall, as chair of the SUNY Board of Trustees. In Albany, Karen DeWitt has more.

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Reported by

Karen DeWitt
NYS Capitol Correspondent


McCall, who was the first African American major party candidate to run for governor in New York, was primaried by Cuomo in the 2002 race, a contest that Cuomo, who was lagging in the polls, later quit.

Both men say there are no hard feelings.

“There wasn’t any air to clear,” McCall said, tongue in cheek. “There was an election , and I won.”

Everyone laughed, including Cuomo.

McCall filled a vacancy to become State Comptroller in 1993 with the blessing of Cuomo’s father, Governor Mario Cuomo, and went on to win two full terms to the post. He eventually lost the 2002 governor’s
race to incumbent Republican Governor George Pataki. Andrew Cuomo finally completed his quest for governor in 2010, when he won the governor’s seat in a landslide. 

McCall was already on the State University of New York Board of Trustees when Cuomo chose him to replace current Chairman Carl Hayden.  Cuomo says he has nothing against Hayden, it’s just that he and McCall now share common goals for the vast university system.

“The governor and I have a shared vision,” McCall said. And that vision, he says, includes quality, accessibility and accountability, and harnessing SUNY’s  “economic engine” to create jobs.

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