Who: The son of former Governor Mario Cuomo, Andrew was elected New York's attorney general in 2006. In May 2010, he officially announced plans to run for governor this fall.
Backstory: Born into one of New York's most famous political families, Andrew attended Fordham and Albany Law before going to work for his father. At 24, he was running Mario's first gubernatorial campaign; a year later, he'd become one of his dad's chief advisors, earning no shortage of contempt for his arrogance and well-displayed sense of entitlement. Following a short stint as an attorney in private practice, Cuomo went off on his own and founded Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged (HELP), a political advocacy group, before returning to government. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed him to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Four years later, he was named HUD secretary, which is where he remained until Clinton's term came to an end in 2001.
Cuomo took an unsuccessful shot at the governor's office in 2002. Although the campaign started off reasonably strong, it lost momentum after several embarrassing stumbles, including controversial comments about George Pataki's role on Sept 11th. With his poll numbers sinking—and with most Dems supporting then-New York comptroller Carl McCall—Cuomo soon fell on his sword and dropped out. He was widely expected to throw his hat in the ring once again during the 2006 election cycle. But when Eliot Spitzer announced plans to run on the Democratic ticket, Cuomo wisely decided to mount a bid for attorney general instead. He handily defeated a scandal-plagued Jeanine Pirro by about 20 percentage points.
Of note: As the state's top prosecutor, Cuomo has followed an aggressive, go-after-the-big-guys approach reminiscent of the one pursued by his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer. He gained national attention for taking on corruption in the $85 billion student loan industry. And he went after Spitzer himself in mid-2007 in the wake of "TrooperGate," issuing a report that the Spitzer administration had improperly used state police resources to collect damning information about Joe Bruno. More recently, he launched a massive investigation into the mortgage industry over subprime mortgages gone bad, and as part of the crusade, he followed a Spitzerian path of antagonizing Wall Street, issuing subpoenas to Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, and Morgan Stanley. Other targets have included Facebook (he's argued the site isn't safe enough for minors), internet service providers (over child porn), and ticket scalping.
Just like Spitzer, Cuomo is hoping to parlay his reputation as a hard-charging, no-nonsense AG into a job as Governor of New York. After playing coy for many months, Cuomo finally announced his intention to run for governor in May 2010 and is now the leading candidate to replace David Paterson this fall. Whether he'll take his Spitzer imitation to its logical conclusion and involve himself in a prostitution scandal remains to be seen.
Family ties: Cuomo's brother, Chris Cuomo, is an anchor on Good Morning America. His sister, Maria Cuomo Cole, is married to fashion mogul Kenneth Cole. He has two other sisters, Madeline and Margaret.
Personal: Cuomo tied the knot with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s little sister, Kerry, in 1990. (Their incredibly romantic first date included a tour of a homeless shelter.) They have three children, twins Cara and Mariah, and Michaela. They divorced in 2003 after Cuomo discovered Kerry had been cheating on him. He's now involved with Food Network host Sandra Lee and divides his time between Albany and an apartment in the financial district.
[Photos via Getty Images]
Full Name: Andrew Mark Cuomo
Date of Birth: 12/06/1957
Place of Birth: Queens, NY
High School: Archbishop Molloy High School
Undergrad: Fordham University
Graduate: Albany Law School
Residences: Financial District; Albany NY
Filed Under: Politics, Law