After Cuomo’s exit, Kathy Hochul to become New York’s first woman Governor in 233 years


With embattled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing his resignation amid sexual harassment allegations, his Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is now set to become the first woman governor in the state’s 233-year history.

Cuomo, 63, said Tuesday that his resignation will be effective in 14 days and the transition should be seamless.

“Kathy Hochul, my lieutenant governor, is smart and competent. This transition must be seamless. We have a lot going on. I’m very worried about the delta variant (of coronavirus) and so should you be. But she can come up to speed quickly and my resignation will be effective in 14 days,” Cuomo said.

READ: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo finally resigns amid charges of sexual harassment

Hochul, 62, is expected to serve in office as Governor till Cuomo’s current four-year term ends in December 2022. She will be the first woman to lead New York state in its 233-year history.

“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,” Hochul tweeted.

Hochul was inaugurated as the 77th Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York on January 1, 2015. She was elected with Cuomo on November 4, 2014.

Prior to her election, she served as a Group Vice President for Strategic Relationships at M&T Bank, serving as liaison for community matters and significant economic development projects.

Born and raised in the state, Hochul through her political life has focussed on fighting for working families. She “was a strong voice in the successful fight for a USD 15 minimum wage and paid family leave. Every day, Kathy is working with the Governor and state legislature to prioritise making lives better for all New York families – because no one working full-time should live in poverty,” according to her profile.

From 2011 to 2013, then Congresswoman Kathy Hochul served in the House of Representatives from New York’s 26th Congressional District, her official profile said.

Prior to her time in Congress, Hochul was the highest-ranking female elected official in Erie County while serving as County Clerk from 2007 to 2011.

The Lieutenant Governor also served 14 years as a Hamburg Town Council member.

READ: US State Dept probing whereabouts of $5,800 bottle of whisky given to Mike Pompeo

Hochul holds a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a JD from Catholic University in Washington, DC.

In 2006, the lieutenant governor joined her mother and aunt in establishing the Kathleen Mary House, a transitional home for victims of domestic violence, and served on its board of directors. She co-founded Village Action Coalition to help local businesses survive competition from big box stores.

Cuomo announced his resignation on Tuesday, a week after independent investigators said he had sexually harassed multiple women, including former and current state employees, by engaging in unwanted groping, kissing and hugging.

“When I took my oath as GovernorI became a fighter, but I became a fighter for you. And it is your best interest that I must serve. This situation by its current trajectory will generate months of political and legal controversy. That is what is going to happen.

“That is how the political wind is blowing. It will consume government. It will cost taxpayers millions of dollars, it will brutalise people,” he said, referring to the sexual harassment allegations and case against him.

Cuomo said the State Assembly on Monday outlined the weeks of process that will then lead to months of litigation and “time and money that government should spend managing COVID-19, guarding against the delta variant, reopening-up state, fighting gun violence, and saving New York City, all that time would be wasted.”

Cuomo said this is one of the “most challenging times” for the government in a generation.

“Government really needs to function today. Government needs to perform. It is a matter of life and death.and wasting energy on distractions is the last thing that the State Government should be doing.

“And I cannot be the cause of that I think that given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing,” Cuomo said, adding that “therefore that’s what I’ll do because I work for you and doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted: “Make no mistake, this is the result of survivors bravely telling their stories. It was past time for Andrew Cuomo to resign and it’s for the good of all New York.”

Last week, independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James released their report into the multiple allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo.

After nearly five months, the investigators concluded that Cuomo “did sexually harass multiple women – including former and current state employees – by engaging in unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging, and making inappropriate comments,” James said in a statement.

The governor and his senior staff took actions to retaliate against at least one former employee for coming forward with her story. Cuomo’s Executive Chamber fostered a “toxic” workplace that enabled “harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment.”

“This is a sad day for New York because independent investigators have concluded that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and, in doing so, broke the law,” James said.

“I am grateful to all the women who came forward to tell their stories in painstaking detail, enabling investigators to get to the truth. No man – no matter how powerful – can be allowed to harass women or violate our human rights laws, period.”

The investigation found that Governor Cuomo’s sexual harassment of multiple women and his and the Executive Chamber’s retaliation against a former employee for coming forward with her claims of sexual harassment violated multiple state and federal laws.





Source link

Leave a Comment