ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The governor who in large measure has defined states’ up-and-down fight against the coronavirus, including occasional combat with the White House, is poised to widen his national spotlight.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo removes a mask as he holds a news conference in a Monday, June 15, 2020 file photo, in Tarrytown, N.Y. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes the reins of the group representing the nation’s governors, which has played a pivotal role in communicating with the Trump administration about state needs during the coronavirus pandemic. As head of the bipartisan National Governors Association, Cuomo will have to walk a fine line between his naturally combative style with the White House and a deferential approach favored by Republicans. Photo: Mark Lennihan, AP / Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reservedNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to take the reins of the National Governors Association on Wednesday during a meeting held virtually because of the disease.

The association represents governors in all 50 states and territories and has emerged from the political shadows since the pandemic erupted in the U.S. The chairman who is handing off to Cuomo, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, has pushed the group to put bipartisan pressure on the Trump administration to provide personal protective gear, ventilators, testing kits and budget help to the states. Read More

Cuomo already has brought some governors together to collaborate on issues such as travel restrictions and sent his staff to help other states with testing, tracing and protective gear. The third-term governor could use his new national platform to seek more uniformity among the states in how they are responding to the virus surge, perhaps influencing national policy.

“The common interest of these governors is not a partisan agenda,” said University of Illinois at Chicago political science professor Chris Mooney. “Cuomo as a smart person is not going to raise those issues because he knows they’ll fracture the coalition.”

Associated Press writers Andrew DeMillo in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Brian Witte in Annapolis, Maryland, contributed to this report.

This article was reposted from Marina Villeneuve: Associated Press

Andrew Cuomo is the Governor of New York State