ALBANY, N.Y. — New York's lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, will become the state's first female governor in two weeks.
She's spent years on the road as the friendly face of the administration. During two terms, she has visited each of the state’s 62 counties yearly for countless ribbon-cutting ceremonies and civic cheerleading events.
Now, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation Tuesday, her next stop is the state Capitol in Albany.
The centrist Democrat from western New York last week joined the chorus of politicians denouncing the governor over sexual harassment allegations. The 62-year-old is a veteran politician who served briefly in Congress.
In a statement, she said Cuomo's decision to step down “is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers.”
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.
— Kathy Hochul (@LtGovHochulNY) August 10, 2021
Votes of confidence have already come pouring in for Hochul.
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York told reporters at the U.S. Capitol that Hochul is “ready and able and capable of being an extraordinary governor.” She said she would be there to support Hochul as she governs the state through “a very difficult and challenging time."
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins called Tuesday “a somber day,” but called Hochul a “dedicated leader” with whom she would work with to continue tackling the coronavirus pandemic and rebuilding the economy.
In a tweet, New York Attorney General Letitia James said she looks forward to continuing to work with Hochul and that she believes the state will be “in good hands” with her at the helm.
Former Democratic Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said in a Twitter statement that Hochul was motivated to run for lieutenant governor by “duty to serve, not any personal ambition.” He added that “no one could be better suited” to become New York's first female governor.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden has yet to speak to Hochul, but she added that the administration looks forward to working with her.