Meet Kathy Hochul, New York’s 1st Female Governor Who is Set to Replace Andrew Cuomo.
Kathy Hochul, 62, has served as Andrew Cuomo’s lieutenant for nearly the last seven years.
Kathy Hochul, the New York lieutenant governor who is set to replace Andrew Cuomo, will be the state’s first female governor and stands to inherit a political landscape that Cuomo dominated for more than a decade. The announcement was made after New York governor Cuomo said that he will resign in two weeks following the state attorney general’s investigation that found he sexually harassed multiple women.
Hochul will also assume office at a time when New York is fighting a resurgent coronavirus pandemic and the fallout over Cuomo’s departure.
In the report, New York Attorney General Letitia James concluded that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women, engaging in “unwelcome and nonconsensual touching,” and created a “hostile” work environment for women. Cuomo has denied some of the report’s allegations while claiming that other aspects of his behavior detailed in the report were taken out of context.
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As calls grew louder for Cuomo to resign, Hochul had been preparing herself to take over in Albany, a state official told CNN last week. She had cleared her schedule and took meetings with legislators and advocacy groups. And she is already assembling a political team, according to a source familiar — an indication that she will run for a full term in 2022.
Cuomo on Tuesday praised Hochul as “smart and competent” and said the transition “must be seamless.” “Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing,” he said. “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 and my resignation will be effective in 14 days.
With Hochul becoming the first female governor to lead the state, New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins will take on the active duties of lieutenant governor until Hochul names a replacement.
Stewart-Cousins, who first called for Cuomo’s resignation months ago, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday that she was “surprised” by Cuomo’s resignation but added that “he did the right thing.”
“It was becoming a larger distraction and we do know the governor to be a fighter. And there was that expectation that he was going to continue to fight,” Stewart-Cousins told Amanpour, adding that the women who came forward “exercised an incredible amount of bravery.”
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