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James Weighs a Run As Governor as Hochul Locks Key Endorsement

“Kathy Hochul’s been doing a great job as governor and I hope she succeeds, but I think things need to play out a little bit more,” said Suzanne Berger, the chair of the Westchester County Democratic Committee. “The attorney general, who has also been a great elected official, needs an opportunity and space to make the best decision for herself and the state as well.”

Other Democrats were openly critical of Mr. Jacobs’s move to intervene in a primary, especially at a relatively early juncture in the race — though there are few other recent points of comparison. Mr. Cuomo was in office for a decade, and before that, party officials asked Gov. David A. Paterson not to seek a full term after he took over from the disgraced former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

Mr. Williams said in a statement that Mr. Jacobs’s role, “and that of the highest ranking Democratic officials in our state, should be to uplift Democratic candidates, Democratic voters, and democratic values.”

Mr. Williams also noted Mr. Jacobs’s longtime alliance with Mr. Cuomo, who on Monday released yet another statement ripping into the independent investigation into his conduct released by Ms. James’s office. The ex-governor lamented that “this is not New York at her finest.” There has been considerable speculation around whether Mr. Cuomo — whose resignation speech doubled as a defense of his legacy — would seek to put real money into meddling in the race.

Mr. Jacobs said that he had given Mr. Cuomo, among others, a heads-up on the endorsement, a remark that drew some attention on Monday.

“I’m not involved in that, I truly am not,” Ms. Hochul said, when asked about Mr. Jacobs’s decision to engage Mr. Cuomo. “I’m proud to have the support of Jay Jacobs, Rich Schaffer and anyone else who wants to line up behind me, but they know that’s not my focus.”

And asked about Mr. Cuomo’s missive, she replied, “I’m actually too busy governing New York to worry about emails that are written by people.”