Three days after winning 4 percent of the vote in New Hampshire's Democratic presidential primary, Gov. Mario Cuomo tried for the first time Friday to shut down efforts to draft him as a candidate.
Cuomo, who implicitly encouraged a write-in effort in New Hampshire by refusing to disavow it, issued a brief statement asking the National Draft Cuomo for President Committee to end its campaign.
His request generated mixed results. The draft campaign's national chairman said he would close its Chicago-based operation. But Illinois and Missouri draft organizers said they would continue their efforts despite Cuomo's statement and even though he could be embarrassed by low vote totals in their states. "This is a conviction of the heart," said Kevin S. Walker, the director of the Missouri draft cam-paign. "We're looking for people to go to the convention with an open mind."
Cuomo finished with 6,577 write-in votes in New Hampshire's Democratic primary.
Cuomo said he issued his statement Friday because Phil Krone, the chairman of the national draft committee, had indicated in several interviews on Thursday that he would consider closing his operation if Cuomo asked him to do so.
"I am flattered by their support and impressed by their commitment, but I am also convinced that in fairness to themselves they ought now to end their effort," Cuomo said Friday.
Krone said his group, which had raised about $100,000, would stop work immediately, including its organizing for Sunday's caucuses in Maine.
Cuomo did not rule out the possibility that he would join the race later this year.
Since Dec. 20, when he announced he would not run for president in 1992, he has said that New York's budget problems are the only obstacle to a presidential campaign.