Kathy Hochul takes governorship of New York

Kathy Hochul Takes Governorship Of New York

NEW YORK – Kathy Hochul became New York’s first female governor at midnight Tuesday as she took over the reins of a state government desperate to get back to work after months of distraction from the sexual harassment allegations against Andrew Cuomo.

The Western New York Democrat was sworn in as governor in a brief private ceremony presided over by the state’s chief judge, Janet DiFiore.

Honored to be officially sworn in as New York’s 57th Governor.


Looking forward to the full swearing-in ceremony with my family later this morning, and addressing the people of New York later today. pic.twitter.com/RUsDtzoW7r

– Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) August 24, 2021

Her rise to the top position of state power was a historic moment in a capital where women have only just begun to break into what was long a male-dominated political culture.

Cuomo left office at midnight, less than two weeks after announcing his departure rather than face probable impeachment proceedings. He sent his letter of resignation to the state Senate and Assembly Monday night.

On his last day in office, Cuomo released a previously recorded farewell speech in which he defended his decade-long career as governor of New York and portrayed himself as the victim of a “media frenzy.”

Hochul was scheduled to have a ceremonial swearing-in on Tuesday morning at the state Capitol. He planned to meet with legislative leaders later and deliver a public address at 3 p.m.

For the first time, most of the most influential officials in New York’s government will be women, including Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins; the Secretary of Justice, Letitia James, and the main judge of the state, DiFiore. The State Assembly is chaired by a man, Carl Heastie.

Hochul will inherit significant challenges once he takes office as head of a government facing criticism for Cuomo’s inaction in recent months.

COVID-19 has returned, and new cases have risen about 1,370% since the end of June. Hospitalizations for the disease are on the rise even as schools prepare to return to school.

Important decisions will need to be made about the possibility of ordering the use of masks or vaccination against COVID-19 in some groups, or about the possibility of implementing social distancing measures again in case the most recent wave of infections in the state worsens. . Hochul has said that he is in favor of ordering the use of masks in schools, a difference from the position of Cuomo, who said he lacked that authority.

The economy remains unstable. Jobs lost during the pandemic have returned, but the unemployment rate is still twice as high as in 2019.

Cuomo’s resignation came after an independent investigation overseen by State Attorney General Letitia James found there was credible evidence that the Democratic official had sexually harassed at least 11 women.

In his farewell speech, Cuomo was defiant, pointing out that James’ report that prompted his resignation was intended to be a “political firecracker on an explosive issue, and it worked.”

“There was a political and media stampede,” he said.