NY Gov. Hochul’s bet against congestion pricing is backfiring

By Nick Reisman | 06/18/2024 06:26 AM EDT

Blocking an unpopular New York City toll program has alienated many of the governor’s key supporters.

Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul's (D) decision to reverse her support for a controversial toll plan in New York City is creating a new political headache for her. Adrian Kraus/AP

NEW YORK — Gov. Kathy Hochul is facing political consequences for her congestion pricing reversal.

Two weeks after she yanked support for a controversial New York City tolling plan, fellow Democrats and left-leaning activists are casting about for potential challengers to one of the nation’s most prominent governors — one who has positioned herself as a surrogate for President Joe Biden.

Hochul, who is up for reelection in 2026, barely defeated a former President Donald Trump-aligned Republican in a reliably Democratic state two years ago. She now faces a barrage of criticism, following her about-face for a plan she had enthusiastically endorsed just weeks before as a necessity to improve street safety and air quality. Hochul’s detractors are pointing to her already shaky poll numbers as further evidence of her exposure as they weigh who would be best to take her on.


Democrats have quietly floated a few familiar names who could mount a serious primary bid in two years, including Reps. Ritchie Torres and Tom Suozzi, who lost to Hochul in a landslide three-candidate primary two years ago and has since become her ally.