Politicians from New York state are reacting to today’s astounding televised resignation by Governor Andrew Cuomo who faced an impending impeachment after last week’s bombshell findings by Attorney General Letitia James that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women.
Cuomo’s resignation is effective in 14 days and Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will become the 57th governor of New York.
In his televised appearance Cuomo said, “Government needs to function. New York Tough means New York loving, and I love New York and I love you. And everything I have ever done has been motivated by that love … the best way I can help now is if I step aside.”
Cuomo framed his resignation as the right thing to do for New Yorkers.
“I think that given the circumstances the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government, and therefore that is what I’ll do, because I work for you, and doing the right thing, is doing the right thing for you,” Cuomo said. “It is a matter of life and death. Government operations and wasting energy on distraction is the last thing government should be. I cannot be the cause. New York tough means New York loving. And I love New York and I love you. Everything I have ever done has been motivated by that love and I would never want to be unhelpful in any way.”
As today’s news circulated about Cuomo’s abrupt resignation major New York political figures have been weighing in on Cuomo’s decision to resign.
“First I want to commend the brave women who stepped forward and courageously told their stories. There is no place for sexual harassment, and todays announcement by Gov Cuomo to resign was the right decision for the good people of NY,” said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. “I have full confidence that Lt Gov. Hochul will establish a professional and capable administration. I have spoken with Lt Gov. Hochul and look forward to working together to help the people of NY.”
“First and foremost, I want to thank the incredibly courageous women who came forward and shared their stories. They are the true public servants here,” said U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. New York now has a chance to move forward and build a new culture of leadership. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is an exceptional public servant and will be an excellent governor. I look forward to working together to continue serving the people of our great state.”
“Today closes a sad chapter for all of New York, but it’s an important step towards justice, said Attorney General Letitia James. “I thank Governor Cuomo for his contributions to our state. The ascension of our Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, will help New York enter a new day. We must continue to build on the progress already made and improve the lives of New Yorkers in every corner of the state. I know our state is in good hands with Lieutenant Governor Hochul at the helm, and I look forward to continuing to work with her.”
“Today is a somber day for the state of New York, but one that demonstrates our ability to build a more accountable system of government. Governor Cuomo’s resignation opens the door to a restorative future, said New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the courageous women who came forward and helped pave the way for safer and more inclusive work spaces. Working with Governor Kathy Hochul, the first woman Governor of New York State, we will continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic, rebuild our economy and face our challenges standing together. Governor Hochul is a dedicated leader, and united, we will get the people’s work done.”
“This has been a tragic chapter in our state’s history. Governor Cuomo’s resignation is the right decision,” said New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. ‘The brave women who stepped forward were heard. Everyone deserves to work in a harassment free environment. I have spoken with Lieutenant Governor Hochul and I look forward to working with her.”
“This has been a tragic chapter in our state’s history. Governor Cuomo’s resignation is the right decision,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.”The brave women who stepped forward were heard. Everyone deserves to work in a harassment free environment. I have spoken with Lieutenant Governor Hochul and I look forward to working with her.”
“Gov. Cuomo abused his power and disgraced his office. His resignation signals a new chapter for our state,” said NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson. This Council is eager to support Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who will become the first woman governor of New York. It is regretful that this historic milestone was achieved under these tragic circumstances, but we are confident that her years of experience serving New Yorkers will help lead us to better days ahead. I once again thank Attorney General Letitia James for the independent report, as well as her team. And I commend the women who came forward to share their stories.”
“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,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“Today is a sad day for New York State following the resignation of Governor Cuomo, and we must work together to ensure that our state is able to move forward and rebuild, said Rep. Adriano Espaillat. “I extend my full support to each of the victims who have come forth to date and hope that they can each find healing, strength, and comfort from friends, families, and those closest to each of them. New York is cherished and known around the world as the Empire State and it is crucial that we work together to put the interests and well-being of New Yorkers first and foremost as we continue to move forward and beyond this moment in our history.”
“The Governor has done the right thing. New York is facing many challenges as we battle the ongoing impact of COVID-19. My team and I stand ready to assist incoming Governor Hochul as we move the state forward,” said State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
“The threat of impeachment was too big for Andrew Cuomo to bear. New Yorkers deserve better than a man who has played politics with our lives for a decade and couldn’t see beyond his ego,” said Sen. Jessica Ramos. “I look forward to working with former Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul as she becomes our first female governor.”
“Thank you to all the survivors who came forward. It was not an easy decision to make, but your decision transformed New York’s history for the better. You are the true heroes of New York State, and Queens continues to support you as you move toward your next steps,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. “I thank Attorney General Letitia James and her team for conducting a thorough, fair investigation and for giving survivors a platform to speak their truth. Today is a sad day for New York, but I am confident we can get back to work. I am ready to collaborate with our State’s first female Governor, Kathy Hochul.”
“New York will finally have its first female Governor and we could not be in better hands. From assisting her mother run a transitional domestic violence shelter to helping make the property tax cap permanent, Kathy Hochul has always and relentlessly fought for the people of New York,” said Democratic Chairman Jay S Jacobs. “Her experience at all levels of government — Town Board Member, County Clerk, Congresswoman, and Lt Gov, makes her uniquely well equipped to effectively govern the state at this time. I am confident that incoming Governor Hochul’s empathy, work ethic and authentic concern for the welfare of its citizens will make her an outstanding Governor for our State.”
“I am sure this is a difficult choice and a sad day for the governor and his family. It is clearly in the best interests of all New Yorkers that the state government function through this difficult time and address the pressing COVID-19 issue,” said Former Gov. David Paterson.
“Today, @NYGovCuomo has finally put New Yorkers first and announced his resignation. I am forever grateful for the eleven women who risked everything to speak out about their experience of sexual misconduct,” said Sen. Alessandra Biaggi. “New York will be a better and safer place because of them. While further accountability is necessary, this moment reflects the hard work of survivors who have been striving for an end to workplace harassment for decades. New York State can now move forward and address the needs of the people we were elected to serve. I look forward to working under @LtGovHochulNY’s leadership. Let this next chapter for New York be one of integrity, optimism, and progress.”
NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Willians released this statement:
“Finally. Many of us have known for a long time that Andrew Cuomo was the wrong Governor for New York. The last several months have plainly revealed that to the world as brave women who endured the Governor’s abuse have spoken out, and as his administration has attempted to attack and ignore them. And while I hope that today gives the survivors of his conduct some semblance of peace and measure of justice, it is not a day of triumph and celebration – even the words of his resignation statement inflicted pain on survivors across the state. Today I am reflecting on the totality of the harm done, the systems that enable it, and the work ahead to dismantle those systems.
“Andrew Cuomo has only ever been interested in his own interests. As a result of his forced resignation, state government can now work solely for the people of New York. Resignation does not undo the harm he inflicted on the women who came forward. Nor does it reduce the damage that his abusive governance has long wrought. But it creates an opportunity to begin to recover. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and I have disagreed in the past about the direction of our state and its leadership. At the same time, in assuming this role, we need her to stabilize New York in a perilous moment and against an incessant volley of crises, and I – as we all should be- am ready to work with her to recover from this pandemic and rebuild New York.
“I hope that over the coming months she will be able to begin to address the toxic culture created by Governor Cuomo and those around him who empowered and enabled him, and all the damage the administration has wrought. It is my hope that this serves as a time for us to reframe notions of what a strong public servant should embody. Being a leader, rather than playing one on TV. Fighting for justice, not for power. Serving the needs of the oppressed, not propping up the oppressor. With Governor Cuomo removed from the position of power that he long abused, I am optimistic that we can restore that power to the people and repurpose it to renew New York.”
“I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to step down,” said New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. 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.”
If Governor Andrew Cuomo didn’t resign he faced the first impeachment of a New York governor since Governor William Sulzer was impeached on August 13, 1913. On October 16 Sulzer was convicted of three articles of impeachment and was removed from office on a vote of 43–12 on October 17th.