Koch to run for governor of New York, blasts Reagan
Charging that President Reagan's ''new federalism'' is a ''sham and a shame, '' New York Mayor Edward I. Koch has officially declared that he will run for governor of New York State.
''A great deal of thought has gone into this decision,'' Mayor Koch said at a packed press conference Feb. 22 at Gracie Mansion, the mayor's official residence. ''I love the job I have and the city which I serve . . . but over the last several weeks - following Governor (Hugh) Carey's withdrawal and the Reagan administration's presentation of its 'new federalism' - I have reconsidered that decision. After listening to friends and talking to other elected officials, I have concluded that the best course for me - and I believe for the people of this city and state -- is to seek the office of governor.''
Across the country, he said, ''the action is shifting from Washington to state capitals. Here in New York, counties, villages, towns, and cities will have to look to Albany for financial support, for new directions, and for leadership.''
Asked specifically whether New York State would gain at the expense of New York City if Mayor Koch were elected governor, the mayor reiterated a political theme that he has espoused since he was a US congressman: that he would ''represent all the people.''
''New York City residents would not be any better off than the constituents of Buffalo or Rochester,'' Koch declared. But he stressed at the same time that New York City residents would be better off with someone in office who has a ''proven track record,'' than someone who has not had a similar political trial by fire.
Before his huge landslide reelection as mayor last November, Koch had repeatedly contended that he would never seek higher political office than mayor of New York City.
But faced with the Gov. Hugh Carey's unexpected decision last month not to seek a third term and the devastating effects of ''Reaganomics'' on the city - coupled with what some close Koch observers saw as a weariness with and restlessness in City Hall -- Koch was forced to reassess his goals.