ALBANY, N.Y. — In a potentially crippling defection in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s efforts to maintain control amid a sexual harassment scandal, the powerful Democratic leader of the New York State Senate declared on Sunday that the governor should resign “for the good of the state.”
The stinging rebuke from the Senate leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins — along with a similar sentiment from the Assembly speaker, Carl E. Heastie, who questioned the “governor’s ability to continue to lead this state” — suggested that Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, had lost his party’s support in the State Capitol, and cast doubt on his ability to withstand the political fallout.
Once hailed as a pandemic hero and potential presidential contender, the governor has seen his political future spiral downward over eight perilous days in the wake of a New York Times report about Charlotte Bennett, a former aide to Mr. Cuomo.
In a series of interviews with The Times, Ms. Bennett, 25, said that Mr. Cuomo, 63, had asked her invasive personal questions last spring about her sex life, including whether she had slept with older men, and whether she thought age made a difference in relationships.