New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be sworn in in two weeks as the Empire State’s first female governor.

Hochul’s historic ascension to New York’s highest political office comes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation Tuesday. Cuomo is leaving office after an independent investigation, appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, found that he had allegedly sexually harassed numerous women while in office during the last decade.

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In a statement Tuesday, Hochul said she agreed with Cuomo’s decision to resign and that doing so was 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,” she said on Twitter.

Who is Kathy Hochul?

The incoming governor has served in several government positions in New York, from small town council member and county clerk to the U.S. Congress as a representatives for New York’s 26th district.

Hochul, 62, will take office in two weeks when Cuomo formally leaves the governor’s office, The New York Times reported. She will serve for the remainder of Cuomo’s term and will have to run for election if she wants to remain in the governor’s office past 2021.

  • “That her ascension came by way of a man’s downfall is a testament to the state’s long history of male political dominance, and its equally long history of male misbehavior, something that has become a growing political liability amid shifting social mores around power and gender dynamics,” wrote the Times’ New York politics reporter Dana Rubinstein.

The Associated Press reported that the lieutenant governor is “a seasoned veteran of retail politics” and “well-liked by colleagues.”

New York politicians support Hochul

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Jay Jacobs, the state Democratic committee chair, said New York “couldn’t 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,” Jacobs added in a statement.

New York GOP chairman Nick Langworthy said Tuesday that New Yorkers could “breathe a collective sigh of relief” that Cuomo, a Democrat, was leaving office and that Republicans would not rest until they “usher(ed) in a new era of integrity and common sense” by winning the 2022 governor’s race.

  • Langworthy’s statement made no mention of Hochul.

New York’s U.S. Senate delegation, both Democrats, commended the “brave” and “courageous” women that reported Cuomo’s inappropriate behavior and are confident in Hochul’s leadership.

  • “I have full confidence that Lt. Governor Hochul will establish a professional and capable administration. I have spoken with Lt. Governor Hochul and look forward to working together to help the people of New York,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.
  • “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,” said Sen. Kristen Gillibrand.

New York City mayoral Democratic candidate Eric Adams, the presumptive incoming mayor, also said Cuomo made the right decision to resign.

  • “I stand ready to work with incoming Governor Kathy Hochul as we guide our City through these challenging times and do the hard work of leading a safe, equitable recovery for NYC,” Adams said in a tweet Tuesday.
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