Kathy Hochul: In a worst-case scenario for her boss, she could be New York’s first woman to serve as governor

Cuomo Under Fire

ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is in her second term in the job that is the state-equivalent of vice-president.

Should the controversy surrounding Gov. Andrew Cuomo force him to either step down or be impeached, according to Article 4 of the New York State Constitution, Hochul would become the state’s 57th governor, and its first woman to serve as the state’s chief executive.

She would not be the first Lieutenant Governor to be put in that position. Just over a year into office Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned in 2008 after it was learned he patronized a prostitute. Lieutenant Governor David Paterson finished the rest of Spitzer’s term.

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Hochul, 62, is a Buffalo-area native, and a Syracuse University graduate. She earned her law degree from Catholic University in Washington. She worked as legal counsel and legislative assistant to Congressman John LaFalce and later Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Her first elective office was on the Hamburg Town council where she served 14 years. Hochul then served from 2007 to 2011 as the Erie County Clerk. In 2011 she won a special election to Congress, but served only one year, losing to Republican Chris Collins in 2012.

In 2014, Cuomo chose her as his running mate for a second term, making her the highest-ranking woman in state government.

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Hochul is a frequent visitor to Central New York and every region in the state, making appearances on behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s policy initiatives. Though COVID-19 has limited her to Zoom or Skype appearances, she was most recently in Central New York opening the state vaccination site at the Empire Expo Center.

In addition to her numerous appearances on behalf of the administration, she chairs the state ten Regional Economic Development Councils, and co-chairs the state’s Heroin and Opioid Abuse Task Force.

And according to her official state biography:

Hochul spearheaded Governor Cuomo’s Enough is Enough campaign to combat sexual assault on college campuses, hosting and attending more than 25 events. As the highest-ranking female elected official in New York State, she continues to be a champion for women and families across the State. In March 2016, she was elected as chair of the New York State Women’s Suffrage 100th Anniversary Commemoration Commission.

Hochul worked tirelessly for Democratic candidates across the state. A profile in Politico in October called her “New York’s campaign warrior.”

Should the situation develop where Hochul would have to step into the role of governor, Erie County Democratic Party chairman Jeremy Zellner told the New York Post Sunday that she’s ready.

“There’s one word that describes our lieutenant governor: tenacious,” continued Zellner, pointing to Hochul’s ability to appeal to rural and urban Democrats alike. “She’s been a bulldog from day one. She knows what needs to get done for the people of New York.”

New York Post Feb.28, 2021

Hochul is married, husband Bill served as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York. The couple has two children.

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