New New York Gov Kathy Hochul, It Is Your Time To Not Be Andrew Cuomo!
Congratulations, New York, you have a new governor whose name isn't Andrew Cuomo. Her name is Kathy Hochul, and she's the first woman governor of the state, and only the 45th woman governor America has ever had. There are still 19 states that have never had a woman governor.
Hochul, who served as lieutenant governor in the Cuomo administration, was officially sworn it at 12:01 a.m., and then later this morning got to do a ceremonial swearing-in with her family present.
She commented after she was officially sworn in last night:
"I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders and I will tell New Yorkers I'm up for the task," Ms. Hochul told WGRZ-TV, a Buffalo-based news station, shortly after she was sworn in. "I thought about all the women that came before me, including my mother who was not there, but a lot of women through history, and I felt they passed the torch to me."
Hochul is from upstate, specifically Buffalo. Indeed, she's the first governor from outside the NYC area since 1932, and that was literally FDR, which means Kathy Hochul is also literally FDR probably.
She's made it clear since Cuomo announced his resignation — two weeks before actually doing it — that her administration would represent a sharp break from what came before, especially as she gets ready to run for re-election on her own merits next year:
In Hochul's first remarks as the governor-in-waiting, on August 11, she stiff-armed Cuomo, promising to ditch any of his aides "named as doing anything unethical" in state Attorney General Letitia James' report as part of her efforts to remake a notoriously noxious executive chamber.
"No one," Hochul said, "will ever describe my administration as a toxic work environment."
CNN also notes that, particularly considering what came before, Hochul will be under quite a lot of pressure to clean up how "ethics" works in the state of New York:
Leading advocates for survivors of sexual misconduct are calling on Hochul to act swiftly — and use her new power to press state lawmakers to take up dormant legislation that would expand oversight and offer new protections for workers.
"At the end of the day, incoming-Gov. Hochul is part of an institution that has so far miserably failed to protect staffers and support survivors when they come forward," said Erica Vladimer, a co-founder of the Sexual Harassment Working Group, an organization founded by former state legislative employees. "It's not a matter of her connection to Cuomo, it's her connection to the entire institution of state government. She has a major responsibility stepping into the role as governor, but any elected official has a major responsibility to staffers and to survivors."
The rest of the CNN article is a lot of very New York-specific political stuff, and if you find that interesting, we recommend you read it all. Also there's a bunch of handwringing about "But Is She Really ETHICSSSSSS?" and right now we just don't care.
Hey, did you know she used to be in Congress, for a hot minute? The Times tells that story:
In 2011, she was elected to Congress after winning a special election to replace Representative Christopher Lee, a Republican who represented one of the state's most conservative districts and resigned after it emerged he had solicited a woman through Craigslist. The district became even more conservative after redistricting, and she lost her re-election bid the following year to Chris Collins, a Republican and early endorser of Donald J. Trump.
Got that? Republican nakey Craigslist scandal leads to Kathy Hochul getting elected to Congress, which leads to Kathy Hochul losing her seat after redistricting to Chris Collins, who was literally a criminal, who got pardoned by the 45th president, also a criminal. And now she gets to come in and be governor after Mister Don't Get Mad, I Touch Everybody Like That.
Good luck, Governor Hochul. Really.
Also congratulations. Really!
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