UPDATED 10:04 AM PT – Thursday, August 12, 2021
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) made her first statement since Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) announced his resignation. In her first remarks, Hochul appeared to distance herself from the controversial governor.
In a press conference on Wednesday, she focused on the things she would do differently. Some of her remarks even appeared to be swipes at Cuomo, who is stepping down amid controversies relating to sexual harassment in the workplace.
“At the end of my term, whenever that ends, no one will ever describe my administration as a toxic work environment,” said Lt. Gov. Hochul. She added herself and Cuomo are not close, and she spends the least amount of time possible in his presence.
I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to step down. 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.
— Kathy Hochul (@LtGovHochulNY) August 10, 2021
Hochul also made clear her intent to lay out her vision for the state after she is officially governor. However, some are less certain she will be much different than her predecessor.
New York Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin (R) stated on Tuesday he believes Hochul empowered Cuomo in all of his controversies, while acting as his lieutenant governor, including the deaths of thousands of elderly people in nursing homes due to COVID. Zeldin added Hochul has been silent scandal after scandal, and the state needs to rid itself of the Cuomo-Hochul administration in addition to its disgraceful legacy.