What New Yorkers Should Know About Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, Who Would Succeed Cuomo


As Governor Andrew Cuomo stares down an investigation into sexual harassment allegations, there’s one lady with a singular stake in what occurs subsequent for the governor. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, a local of Western New York and solely the third lady to carry the workplace, is subsequent in line ought to Cuomo resign or be faraway from workplace.

If she had been to ascend to the governor’s workplace, she would make historical past because the state’s first lady governor. She would even be the second Lieutenant Governor in a row to take over the job from a disgraced governor — in 2008, Lieutenant Governor David Paterson all of a sudden grew to become governor of the New York after Eliot Spitzor resigned amidst a prostitution scandal.

Hochul is Cuomo’s second lieutenant governor, becoming a member of the ticket for the 2014 election after then-LG Robert Duffy mentioned he wouldn’t search reelection. Like Duffy, the previous mayor of Rochester, Hochul introduced upstate credibility to Cuomo’s statewide ticket. Cuomo introduced his choice in a video performed on the New York State Democratic Conference in 2014.

Right here’s a fast primer on who Hochul is and what she brings to the manager workplace.

How did she get her begin?

Hochul was born and raised in Buffalo. She attended Syracuse College and earned a legislation diploma from Catholic College in Washington, D.C. After legislation faculty, she labored as an aide to former U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York.

She later ran for a seat on the Hamburg City Board the place she served for greater than a decade. She additionally labored within the Erie County clerk’s workplace, first because the deputy after which because the County Clerk. In 2007, Hochul ruffled feathers of Democratic occasion leaders, together with then-Governor Eliot Spitzer, when she opposed issuing drivers’ licenses to immigrants with out documentation, a place that “developed” after she grew to become lieutenant governor, in response to The Buffalo Information.

In 2011, she received an upset victory in a particular election for the twenty sixth congressional district, in a Republican-leaning district, which was seen as a rejection of the Republicans’ plan to overtake Medicaid. Hochul received partly by framing herself as a reasonable “impartial Democrat,” however was voted out in 2012 after redistricting made it a extra reliably Republican seat. She was additionally endorsed by the Nationwide Rifle Affiliation that yr, The Buffalo Information reported, making her one in every of solely two New York Democrats to obtain its assist.

What has she finished as Lieutenant Governor?

The place of Lieutenant Governor is a largely thankless and sometimes ceremonial one (till it’s not). Over the previous yr, whereas Cuomo led quite a few televised briefings on the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, Hochul continued assembly with native officers throughout the state, visiting all 62 counties, and conducting tons of of native media interviews. Hochul maintained a comparatively busy public schedule, routinely introduced after the governor introduced his personal.

For instance, final Tuesday, when Governor Cuomo’s schedule mentioned, “he’s in Albany,” she delivered three digital funds shows for various regional organizations, in between internet hosting a Black Historical past Month digital storytime for the Queens Public Library and delivering remarks at a YMCA of Larger New York roundtable about addressing racial inequities in healthcare.

She has been a proponent of points selling ladies’s well being and security, together with laws the state’s so-called “Sufficient is Sufficient” laws aimed toward preventing sexual assault on school campuses.

What’s her relationship like with Cuomo?

Forward of their most up-to-date reelection, Cuomo hinted he would possibly dump her from the ticket by speaking up her doable candidacy for Congress in her outdated district. Later that yr, she fought off a problem from Jumaane Williams, who ran within the Democratic main in opposition to her.

Talking to the New York Put up, Erie County Democratic Social gathering chairman Jeremy Zellner mentioned Hochul was able to step in as governor if needed, highlighting her tenacity.

“She is aware of what must get finished for the folks of New York,” he informed the Put up.

David Swarts, who has identified Hochul for many years and appointed her to her first position on the Erie County clerk’s workplace, described her as “vivid” and “attuned to the problems” and even famous that her mainline Democratic politics have turn into extra progressive. All of her expertise places her in a powerful place to function the state’s chief govt, he mentioned including, “her solely drawback is that she is from Upstate New York,” implying it could be tougher for her to win a statewide election. He wouldn’t remark instantly on the state of affairs surrounding the governor.

After the New York Occasions reported on the second sexual assault allegation in opposition to Cuomo, Hochul issued a press release saying, “Everybody deserves to have their voice heard and brought critically. I assist an impartial evaluate.”