Crowley has taken a different tack. Although he remains on the Working Families line, he immediately endorsed Ocasio-Cortez for the congressional seat. This is not unlike what Andrew Cuomo did in 2002. Running for governor that year, he dropped out right before the primaries and endorsed the eventual Democratic candidate H. Carl McCall. But Cuomo was running unopposed for the Liberal party nomination, and the timing was such that he, like Crowley, could no longer unilaterally decline the Liberal line. So, though he supported McCall, Cuomo’s name appeared on the general election ballot.
The only way Crowley in 2018 or Cuomo in 2002 could have been removed from the ballot was by dying, moving out of the state (because of various residency requirements) or running for another office (if, of course, eligible to do so). Putting aside the option of dying (or in a state race, being convicted of a felony), neither Crowley nor Cuomo wished to move or run for some other office, like Assembly or state Senate. Crowley bluntly said that such a switch would be a “fraud on the voters.” In both cases, then, someone no longer seeking an office remains on the ballot—a situation that is obviously confusing to the voter.