On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation following the state attorney general’s investigation into sexual harassment accusations. In his stead, the Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, will take over lead of the state government.
Hochul will become the state’s first woman governor, assuming office and taking over his third four-year term which ends in December 2022. Hochul, 62, describes herself as an “independent Democrat” and has a long history of political and law positions throughout her career.
After a stint at a Washington law firm, Hochul worked as a legal and legislative adie to congressman John LaFalce from New York, then to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. She drafted legislation in the role, relating to campaign finance and immigration reform. She also served as a member of town council in Hamburg, south of Buffalo, for 14 years, was appointed as a clerk in Erie County – which she held until 2011 – and won a special election for a New York congressional district in 2012. Hochul first took office as the Lieutenant Governor in 2014 and has remained in the seat with Cuomo as governor.
As Hochul takes the seat as governor, she stands to inherit the political arena that Cuomo has dominated for over a decade, as well as fighting the resurgence of the coronavirus and the fallout of Cuomo’s departure.
She stated in a tweet on Tuesday afternoon, “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. 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.” She added in another tweet thread, “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.”