Kathy Hochul became the 57th, and first female, governor of New York today after being sworn in just past midnight by New York State Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.
Hochul takes over from the former Andrew Cuomo whose political career was torpedoed by an impending impeachment, in Albany, after the bombshell investigative findings of Attorney General Letitia James which said Cuomo used the power of his office to sexually harass 11 women.
Early Tuesday morning, Attorney Letitia James released a statement congratulating Hochul saying:
“Today is a historic day for New Yorkers with the swearing in of our first female governor, Kathy Hochul. I congratulate Governor Hochul on this incredible accomplishment and wish her well in her new role building on the progress of our great state. I look forward to continuing to work with her and the entire incoming administration.”
Hochul also received congratulatory messages from other lawmakers.
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who ran to unseat Hochul as lieutenant governor in 2018, released this statement:
“The historic weight of inducting New York’s first female governor today cannot go overlooked or underappreciated. From our state’s founding it has been a position held by white men, except when those men were confronted with and faced consequences for their own failure and wrongdoing. As we move forward from this latest moment of scandal, I hope we can end this pattern by realizing what leadership can look like.
“Governor Hochul’s success is our success, and with former Governor Cuomo now removed from the position of power that he long abused, it’s my hope that we can restore power to the people, and center our objectives on achieving justice, equity, and advancement for New Yorkers. There are immense challenges before our city and state, but as I expressed to Governor Hochul before she assumed her new role, I’m ready to work together to recover from this pandemic and renew New York. As she takes office, I wish her luck and offer her support.”
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the following:
“Today, we have sworn in the first woman to serve as governor of New York. From State Senate majority leader to state attorney general to vice president of the United States, we continue to see women rise through the ranks of government, and it is a welcome trend.
“Governor Kathy Hochul has served at every level of government and is a qualified and dedicated public servant. Over the course of her time in public service, she has visited every corner of this state and developed strong relationships with local representatives.
“My colleagues and I know that our state is facing many significant challenges, and we are prepared to partner with Governor Hochul in addressing them. We look forward to working with her to ensure our children can safely return to school, New Yorkers are able to stay in their homes, small businesses can thrive again, our work to end to the scourge of gun violence continues and to fight the resurgence of COVID-19 to finally put this pandemic behind us.
“We stand ready to work with Governor Hochul to continue moving New York forward.”
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. released this statement:
“With the swearing-in of Governor Hochul today, we will have our first female Governor in the history of New York State. I look forward to continuing the advancement of our borough with the Hon. Kathy Hochul. No stranger to The Bronx, she will lead us with sagacity. Upon taking office as Lieutenant Governor in 2015, she hit the ground running and learned of the needs of all 62 counties but knew The Bronx was unique. I congratulate her in her new role as Governor.”
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said the following:
“While today marks a new chapter with the swearing in of Governor Kathy Hochul – making history as New York’s first female governor – we continue to face the same daunting challenges as before. COVID-19 and the Delta variant are still a threat to the health of our people and our full economic recovery. Parents are looking to the state for guidance as they prepare to send their children back to school. Tenants and landlords continue to wait for the release of desperately needed emergency rental assistance funds. And Tropical Storm Henri is just the most recent reminder of the damaging effects of climate change.
“Addressing these issues and so many others will be no easy task, but Governor Hochul has proven her commitment to the people of New York during her time in office and has the knowledge and experience needed to lead us through the storm. I look forward to continuing to work with her and her administration as I have over the last six years so that we can move New York forward.”
The Albany County Legislature’s Democratic leaders released a statement saying:
“Today is a historic day as we swear in the first woman to serve as Governor of the great State of New York. From the local government on up, the challenges we collectively face are daunting. However, Governor Hochul’s experience, and spirit, are exactly what we need right now to heal the past and build on our future together. The Albany County Legislature is very excited to work with Governor Hochul’s new administration to create progressive policies and craft innovative and responsible budgets for the good of all we serve.”
Senator Michelle Hinchey released a statement saying:
“This is a history-making moment — one that gives New York a renewed sense of possibility. True leadership is measured in an ability to bring people together and build a brighter, stronger future for all, and I have every confidence that Governor Hochul — a fellow upstate woman and New York’s first female governor — will lead our state forward with humility, compassion, and integrity. Upstate now has a true advocate at the helm and I look forward to working with her to build a New York we can be proud of and address the issues that matter most to our communities.”
“Congratulations to New York State Governor Kathy Hochul on making history! I look forward to working with Governor Hochul to move our state forward,” said Senator Daphne Jordan. “I’m praying for her success because I want our state – and all New Yorkers – to succeed. With her deep Upstate roots, I’m hopeful that Governor Hochul will make advancing an agenda that helps Upstate, and recognizes our unique challenges and opportunities, a top, bipartisan priority. We have much work to do: it’s time to write a positive, new chapter – and create a brighter future – for New York State.”
“Governor Kathy Hochul’s swearing in as the first female governor of New York marks a new era for our state,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. “I’m hopeful that with our shared upstate roots we can work together to revive our economy, build back local businesses and provide families with the support they need and deserve. The past year and a half has been a difficult and uncertain chapter in our state’s history and, unfortunately, we’re not out of the woods yet. With much work left to do and many challenges ahead, I’m optimistic that our new Governor will bring us a fresh perspective and a collaborative relationship with the Legislature to move our state forward. It’s imperative that we work together to restore our highest state office to one of honesty, integrity and respect.”
Ironically, Hochul has become New York’s first woman governor due to the multiple sexual allegations made against a powerful male politician. Somewhat similarly, New York got its first Black governor, David Paterson, after then Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned after a prostitution scandal.