Fueling speculation about a possible presidential run, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will travel to California for fundraisers Tuesday with lawyers, financiers and entertainment industry leaders, it was reported Monday.
The two-term governor, who’s expected to run for a third in 2018, will start with a breakfast at a law firm in San Francisco, which Giants president Larry Baer will attend, the Los Angeles Times reported, quoting sources familiar with the events.
Cuomo Will Be in Beverly Hills for Reception with Hollywood Industry Bigwigs
In the evening Cuomo will head to Beverly Hills for a reception with Hollywood executives at the home of Laura and Jeff Shell, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman. The Motion Picture Association of America organized the event. Among those expected to attend are DreamWorks cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg, CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves and Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger, according to The Times.
Tickets for the two events range in cost from $1,000 to $50,000, a Cuomo advisor told The Times. Cuomo’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
Fundraising Trip is Not His First
The trip is not the first to California for Cuomo, who has previously established ties to the entertainment world. Nor is it necessarily a sign of national aspirations. One member of the organizing committee for the Los Angeles event said the motive behind it was, in part, to maintain New York City’s favorable tax credits. But the trip is nonetheless heightening interest as Cuomo, who until recently rarely traveled out of state and avoided any speculation about presidential ambitions, appears to be elevating his national profile.
Cuomo has made pointed remarks challenging the policies of the Trump administration, though not usually calling out the president by name, while also venturing farther from New York, The Times reported. In May, following a wave of anti-Semitic acts, he traveled to Israel to show support for the Jewish community. In September he visited Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to assess hurricane damage. A few days later he spoke in Las Vegas at a meeting of the Transport Workers Union of America, which could provide crucial labor support in a potentially crowded Democratic primary.
Governor Has Already Amassed a Considerable War Chest
State campaign finance records show Cuomo has already amassed a considerable war chest for 2018, with more than $25 million in the bank as of July, The Times reported. Under federal campaign finance law, funds raised for a state campaign cannot be transferred to federal campaigns, but unused contributions may be refunded and then re-solicited for use in a federal election.