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  • Rich Klein


Updated: Aug 10, 2021

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul at Bethel Woods in July 2019 where she promoted the "Catskills Challenge" with Governor Cuomo.


ALBANY - Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will soon become the first female governor in New York history after today’s announcement by Governor Andrew Cuomo that he will resign in two weeks. amid multiple sexual harassment allegations and at least one criminal complaint.

"I agree with Governor Cuomo's decision to step down, " Hochul said in a tweet earlier today. "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 , 62, and a native of Western New York, will step into the Executive Chamber at a time of Covid-19 resurgence in many areas of the state, thanks to the Delta variant. Cuomo did not include her in his daily briefings on coronavirus and the pair reportedly did not speak much at all since February 2021. He also did not mention her in his controversial book that he worked on with staff during the pandemic. But today, he praised his Lt. Governor and said she should run for the office after she serves out the remainder of his term.

Meanwhile, two local Democrats of influence who have met Hochul say they are impressed.

"I have met Kathy Hochul many times," Town of Thompson Supervisor Bill Rieber told The SullivanTimes today. "She is sharp, savvy and pleasant. Best of all she is from upstate. I think she is a breath of fresh air and look forward to working with her."

Hochul visited Sullivan on multiple occasions in her official capacity, including last month when she participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Bethel to promote solar energy - and later gathered at The Eldred Preserve with some local officials that included Steve Vegliante (Town of Fallsburg Supervisor and chair of the Sullivan County Democratic Committee) along with County Legislators Luis Alvarez and Nadia Rajsz to learn more about Sullivan.

Hochul was also on hand in February 2018 at the ribbon cutting for Resorts World Catskills and at Bethel Woods, in 2019, to promote Cuomo's "Catskills Challenge."

Vegliante told The SullivanTimes today that Democrat Hochul has succeeded in finding consensus in every level of government throughout her career.

"She's someone who asks questions," Vegliante said today. "Every time I have met her, she has asked about local issues..the local economy.. and how her office might help. "

Republican State Senator Mike Martucci said today:

"I wish Lieutenant Governor Hochul well in the transition, and I pledge to work with her along with my colleagues in the Legislature to move our State forward and address the pressing problems we were elected to solve. Finally, I want to recognize the bravery, resilience and strength of all of the Governor’s victims. Today is a day you receive a measure of

justice, and our State can look to better and brighter days ahead.”

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther late this afternoon issued a statement that said:

"I called on the Governor to resign months ago but I’m relieved that he has realized that for the good of the people of this state, we need a new leader. I have known Lieutenant Governor Hochul for many years, and I have the utmost confidence in her ability to bring people together. We could not ask for anyone better to take over in such difficult circumstances. I stand ready to work with her and her administration and to help in any way I can."

BELOW: Lt. Governor Hochul in Roscoe in 2017.


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