Hochul, who has made a name for herself as a workhorse, has taken pride in visiting each of New York’s 62 counties every year.
New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is set to become the first woman governor of the state after Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation on Tuesday, following a report from the attorney general that found he sexually harassed multiple women. The 62-year-old, who has served as Cuomo's lieutenant for nearly the last seven years, called his decision "the right thing to do and in the best interests of New Yorkers." In a brief statement issued shortly after Cuomo's announcement, Hochul added: "As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in the line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State's 57th Governor."
I agree with Governor Cuomo's decision to step down. It is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers.— Kathy Hochul (@LtGovHochulNY) August 10, 2021
As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in the line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State’s 57th Governor.
According to NBC News, although Hochul has largely stayed out of the public eye in recent years, she is no newcomer to politics. Having grown up in a working-class Irish Catholic family in western New York, she has credited her father's work as a steelworker and union organizer as one of the key influences behind her political views. After graduating from Syracuse University and receiving a law degree at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C, she began her career working for a law firm in Washington. Hochul also went on to work for New York Democrats Rep. John LaFalce and Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan before beginning her own political career back home.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a 62-year-old Democrat and former member of Congress from the Buffalo area, will become the state’s 57th governor and the first woman to hold the post. https://t.co/WzXRLBBN3j— The Associated Press (@AP) August 10, 2021
She was first elected to public office in the 1980s as a Hamburg council member and rose through the political ranks with several local positions, before eventually becoming the Erie County clerk in 2007. Four years later, Hochul won a special U.S. House election by flipping a Republican-controlled district spanning from Buffalo to Rochester after campaigning against the GOP plan to overhaul Medicare. She was selected by Cuomo as his running mate in his 2014 re-election campaign as her roots in Erie County were seen as a boost to the ticket.
New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, 62, will soon become the state's first female governor, replacing Gov. Andrew Cuomo. A Buffalo native, she was first elected lieutenant governor in 2014 as Cuomo's running mate and won reelection alongside him in 2018. https://t.co/Scw3O1Z4Ja— CNN (@CNN) August 10, 2021
Over the past years as lieutenant governor, Hochul has made a name for herself as a workhorse, partly because of her determination to engage in extensive on-the-ground politicking. She has taken pride in visiting each of New York’s 62 counties every year and has maintained the practice even during the pandemic. "I've never seen a schedule likes hers," said former Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. "She keeps in touch with people. She's been building support even before all this. She's built out a really solid network. She's shown she's intellectually capable. And she's got the political acumen to do the job."
Well on a happier note, New York now has its first women governor, Kathy Hochul, and she is fantastic. I've met and interviewed her, and she has an amazing life story, and loads of experience to do the job. pic.twitter.com/H6MRO44tnp— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) August 10, 2021
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who was among the New York Democrats calling for Cuomo's resignation, also backed Hochul. "She understands the complexities and needs of our state having been both a congresswoman and having been lieutenant governor for the last several years," Gillibrand said. "She is ready and able and capable of being an extraordinary governor, and I look forward to supporting her and helping her as she turns towards governing our state in a very difficult and challenging time." Cuomo, who has been criticized for seemingly marginalizing his lieutenant governor and appearing uninterested in sharing responsibilities with her, expressed confidence in Hochul's ability to lead during his resignation remarks on Tuesday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York announced his resignation, effective in 14 days, a week after the state attorney general’s office found he had sexually harassed nearly a dozen women. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will become the state's first female governor. https://t.co/we1tpDKj0m pic.twitter.com/3K0MmGmU0p— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 10, 2021
"Kathy Hochul, my lieutenant governor, is smart and competent," he said, reports The New York Times. "This transition must be seamless. We have a lot going on. I’m very worried about the Delta variant, and so should you be, but she can come up to speed quickly." While Cuomo maintained that he had done nothing wrong, he said that he would "step aside and let government get back to government," effective in 14 days. In a brief statement issued shortly after the attorney general's report was made public, Hochul said: "Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any workplace, and certainly not in public service. The AG’s investigation has documented repulsive & unlawful behavior by the Governor towards multiple women. I believe these brave women & admire their courage coming forward. No one is above the law."
With Kathy Hochul becoming Governor, New York’s first woman State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins will assume the role of Acting Lieutenant Governor.— Mitali Modi (@mmodi93) August 10, 2021
This is the first time New York State will have two women in our government’s highest offices. pic.twitter.com/qh9r5BV5NX