In two weeks, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will resign and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will take his place as the state’s first woman governor.
Cuomo (Democrat) announced Tuesday his resignation. His eventual impeachment seems all but certain after a New York attorney-general report found that he had sexually harassed 11 women. Cuomo said that he was not guilty of inappropriate behavior, but that he would resign to let the government “get back to governing.”
New York state law provides that the lieutenant governor takes over in the event of resignation by a governor.
Hochul, a Democrat, stayed away from the spotlight during the investigation by the attorney general and called the governor’s actions in the report “repulsive and unlawful.”
“Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any workplace, and certainly not in public service,” Hochul tweeted last week. “The AG’s investigation revealed repulsive and unlawful behavior by Governor towards multiple women. These brave women are my inspiration and I admire their courage in coming forward. “No one is above the law.”
Hochul stated that Cuomo’s resignation was in the best interests of New Yorkers and the right thing to do.
“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 tweeted.
Hochul, 62 years old, is lieutenant governor. She was the 26th District representative in New York from 2011 to 2013. There, she served on both the House Armed Services Committee (and House Homeland Security Committee) before being reelected.
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Her undergraduate degree was from Syracuse University and her law degree is from Catholic University. She began her career as an aide to Capitol Hill, and then held a number of positions in the local community before she was elected to Congress.
Hochul has been a long-standing advocate for women who are victims of domestic or sexual violence. Hochul was the driving force behind Governor’s “Enough is Enough” campaign to combat sexual assault on college campuses.
The lieutenant governor comes from a family of steelworkers. Her grandparents fled poverty in Ireland and settled in New York. Her grandfather, father, and uncles were all steelworkers.