In 1994, incumbent Democrat Governor Mario Cuomo was up for reelection, and his approval ratings were in the 40s.
Republicans nominated a previously less known State Senator named George Pataki. Pataki eventually won the race and ended up serving three terms.
There are many similarities between Howard Stern’s 1994 run for New York Governor and Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential run. Outspoken New York celebrities getting into politics, few believed either would actually run, even after they announced.
“Howard has gone out of his way to offend blacks, women, Catholics, gay men and scores of others while maintaining a prurient fascination with lesbians,” – New York Times’ Todd Purdum wrote in 1994.
Here’s where Stern’s and Trump’s paths diverge. Like Trump, Stern had to disclose his personal finances if he wanted to run. And like Trump, many people doubted whether Howard would open himself up to such scrutiny.
Unlike Trump, Stern proved the doubters right. He dropped out of the race in August because he refused to file a financial disclosure report after unsuccessfully asking a judge to waive the requirement for him.
Raunchy radio personality Howard Stern dropped out of the race for governor Thursday rather than disclose his personal finances as required of all candidates.
“I spend 25 hours a week telling you all the most intimate details of my life,” Stern said at an on-air news conference. “One fact I’ve never revealed is how much I make and how much money I have. It’s none of your business.”
– August 05, 1994, Associated Press
Howard Sterns 1994 platform: reinstating the death penalty, forcing construction workers to work at night and staggering highway tolls to alleviate traffic jams. Once those things were done, he would resign.