ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he is resigning Tuesday, effective in 14 days.
“Kathy Hochul is my lieutenant governor — she is smart and competent and this transition must be seamless,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We have a lot going on., and I’m very worried about the delta variant and so should you, but she can be brought up to speed.”
The governor has been under fire with dueling controversies regarding the state’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, and sexual harassment allegations against the governor.
The governor was facing mounting calls for his resignation — including President Joe Biden — and impeachment in the wake of the bombshell report from the New York Attorney General’s office last week that concluded the governor sexually harassed multiple women, including former and current state employees.
Several lawmakers have reacted to Tuesday’s announcement.
“From the beginning, I simply asked that the Governor stop his abusive behavior. It became abundantly clear he was unable to do that, instead attacking and blaming victims until the end. It is a tragedy that so many stood by and watched these abuses happen.
I am thankful for the Attorney General, the investigators and all those who have pursued the truth despite intimidation and threats of retaliation.
Most importantly, I am in awe of the strength of the other women who risked everything to come forward. My hope always has been that this will make it safer for other women to report their own harassment and abuse. I will continue the fight to make that happen.”
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul:
“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.“
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer:
“First, I want to commend the brave women who stepped forward and courageously told their stories. There is no place for sexual harassment, and today’s announcement by Governor Cuomo to resign was the right decision for the good of the people of New York. 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.“
New York Attorney General Letitia James:
“Today closes a sad chapter for all of New York, but it’s an important step towards justice.
“I thank Governor Cuomo for his contributions to our state. The ascension of our Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, will help New York enter a new day. We must continue to build on the progress already made and improve the lives of New Yorkers in every corner of the state. I know our state is in good hands with Lieutenant Governor Hochul at the helm, and I look forward to continuing to work with her.”
Sen. Pam Helming:
“This is the first step to begin to restore trust and confidence in our state government. Again, I express my gratitude to the brave women who came forward. The work toward justice and accountability must continue, for these women, and for the 15,000-plus nursing home and long-term care residents who died of COVID-19.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul has dedicated her career to public service. She and I have worked together on a number of projects important to the 54th District. She has visited our district many times over the years, and as recently as two weeks ago. I am confident that Governor Hochul will help us move forward, together, as a state. I look forward to working with our first female Governor.”
New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli:
“The Governor has done the right thing. New York is facing many challenges as we battle the ongoing impact of COVID-19. My team and I stand ready to assist incoming Governor Hochul as we move the state forward.”
Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes:
“As a member of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, I have been unable to speak on the ongoing investigation into Gov. Cuomo as freely as, perhaps, I would have liked. However, now that Gov. Cuomo has offered his resignation, I can say that I believe this was inevitable and will help our state move forward from this tumultuous time. There are serious challenges ahead of us, and I welcome the opportunity to work more closely with our new governor, Kathy Hochul – our state’s first woman to hold this office.”
Sen. Samra Brouk:
“The governor has harmed many women—women who were working in service of the Great State of New York and the public. I am relieved to hear that Andrew Cuomo has resigned from the executive chamber, but I remain concerned about the extensive network of allies who worked to help him cover and “spin” his acts, and that the toxic work environment he fostered could persist in his absence. We must work to ensure the hostile, unlawful conduct that occurred in the executive chamber is not occurring in any workplace, let alone in state government.
“I thank the women who came forward and acknowledge the many who could not for their own personal reasons.
“Kathy Hochul has time and again demonstrated a passionate, lifelong commitment to the success of women, our region and our great state. It will be a new opportunity to work on the issues most pressing to New York State with a fellow Western New Yorker heading the executive chamber, and I look forward to what we’ll accomplish for our State and the 55th District.”
Assemblymember Harry Bronson:
I thank the women who courageously came forward. We believed them and took steps to hold the Governor accountable for his abuse and harassment. The Governor’s resignation is a necessary first step for New York to start healing. This will allow our state to move forward on the urgent issues that are major concerns for our families; the Delta variant, getting our children back in the classroom, and ensuring our families are able to get back to work in a healthy and safe environment.
I look forward to working with Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, who I know is a consummate professional capable of leading our state out of this crisis. As our first woman Governor and someone from upstate New York, I am confident our families will be well served under her leadership.
Monroe County Republican Committee:
Today New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he would be resigning from the Governorship. For all New Yorkers today, the first steps towards justice has finally been started. Not only for the women that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed. Not only for the many people who passed away in nursing homes due to the Governor’s incompetency. Not only for using public funds to further the Governor’s wealth through books deals and manuscripts. Because of all these reasons and many more, we can now move forward from this corrupt administration. It’s time for all New York State Residents to come together and reflect on how we can begin to re-build our state.
Chairman Iacovangelo stated ” Today’s announcement by Governor Cuomo concludes a dark chapter in our state’s history. From the beginning of his administration, Governor Cuomo put himself and the special interests of his donors and inner-circle ahead of the citizens of New York. Under Cuomo, New York led the Nation as having some of the highest taxes and being one of the most unfriendly states towards small businesses. Governor Cuomo must be held accountable for his actions. Stepping down does not absolve him of the sexual abuse claims made by eleven brave women who found the fortitude to stand up and say that this cannot continue. Stepping down does not absolve him of his decision to place thousands of elderly New Yorkers in harm’s way during a pandemic which led to their deaths. Justice must be served and this is just the first step in getting New York back on track.”
Monroe County Democratic Committee Chair Zach King:
I thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his decades of service to New York State, and for putting the State first and resigning his office.
I also want to express my complete confidence in Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul as she prepares to step into her role as New York’s 57th Governor, and the first woman to hold the office. Since her first election to public office in 1994, Lieutenant Governor Hochul has faithfully put the needs of New Yorkers first, has been a champion for Western NY and the Finger Lakes, and is aptly equipped to serve our State in this moment. While the circumstances are unfortunate, I congratulate incoming Governor Hochul — I speak for all Monroe County Democrats in saying we are excited for the opportunity to work alongside you.
Rep. John Katko:
“I commend the women who bravely spoke out against Governor Cuomo’s disturbing pattern of sexual harassment, abuse and retaliation. The Governor’s resignation is long overdue. Still, it does not adequately hold him accountable for his actions. Governor Cuomo abused his office and broke the law. I am glad that law enforcement in New York State continue to investigate the Governor’s actions. Criminal prosecution must remain on the table.
“New Yorkers continue to struggle with the lasting impacts of the ongoing pandemic. Officials in State Government, led by incoming Governor Kathy Hochul, must now focus on leading our pandemic recovery while addressing the deep-rooted corruption and abuse that has endured in Albany for far too long.”
Republican Majority Leader Steve Brew:
“Too little, too late. After months of resounding calls for his resignation, Governor Cuomo has finally decided to do right by the people of New York State and step down. The damage caused by Governor Cuomo and his allies has hurt all New Yorkers and will have severe implications into the future.
“From grave sexual harassment charges to blatant deceit of the public to repeated criminal activity; Governor Cuomo has sown seeds of mistrust among the public. As we look ahead past the Governor’s final days in office, New Yorkers must come together to recover from the heavy-handed, crooked policies we’ve faced for over a decade.
“It’s time for New York State to break the cycle of scandal, corruption, and greed. I hope Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul can steer New York State in a new direction and discontinue Governor Andrew Cuomo’s dangerous and dishonest policies.”