- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) - Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has tapped a veteran of Republican presidential politics to serve as his chief of staff.

The governor announced Tuesday that Maria Comella will take over the post. She most recently served as the chief strategist for Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s unsuccessful presidential bid. She previously worked for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Republican presidential campaign as well.

“Right now it is important to be an active participant in our democratic process and political party matters less than the things we can accomplish when working together,” Comella said in a statement released by Cuomo’s office. “At a time of turmoil in Washington I believe the states can and will play an important role and Gov. Cuomo has the ability to find common ground when it’s needed and get things done.”

Cuomo faces re-election for governor in 2018, but he’s also among many Democrats weighing a bid to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in 2020. Publicly, he has said he’s focused on his re-election.

Comella last year broke from Christie by publicly backing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. She called Trump a “demagogue” who used fear and hatred for political gain.

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