NEW YORK CITY (WROC) — Soon-to-be New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced Thursday she will run for a full term in 2022.
The current lieutenant governor made the announcement during an appearance on The Today Show.
Hochul will replace Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who announced his resignation Tuesday. Cuomo’s resignation goes into effect on August 24.
Hochul held her first press conference Wednesday since Cuomo’s resignation announcement where she told New Yorkers she is ready for the job.
“I want people to know that I’m ready for this,” Hochul said. “It’s not something that we expected or asked for, but I’m fully prepared to resume the responsibilities of the State of New York.”
Cuomo announced his resignation Tuesday, following a scathing report detailing sexual harassment and misconduct involving 11 women was released by the New York attorney general last week. Calls for his resignation escalated to calls for impeachment, leading to the governor’s announcement.
Regarding a possible pardon for potential criminal charges against Cuomo, Hochul said it was too soon to speculate on such decisions.
“I’m talking about my vision for the state of New York,” Hochul said when asked about a potential pardon Wednesday. “It is far too premature to even have that discussion.”
Hochul, the highest-ranking female elected official in New York state, is now set to become the first woman governor in New York history. She will hold the office through the remainder of Cuomo’s term, which runs through 2022.
“I spoke with Gov. Cuomo yesterday and he pledged his full support for a smooth transition and I thanked him for his service to our state,” Hochul said Wednesday. “Regarding his decision to step down, I believe it is appropriate and in the best interest of New York. While it was not expected, it is a day for which I am prepared. I’ve already spoken with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, labor leaders, business leaders, faith leaders, and other state-elected officials, as well as leaders in the tri-state area. I look forward to working with each and every one of them.”
Despite being the lieutenant governor, Hochul admitted she had not been very close with the governor recently.
“I think it’s very clear that the governor and I have not been close physically or otherwise,” Hochul said. “So I’ve been traveling the state and do not spend much time in his presence or the presence of many in the state capital, and I’m going to stand right here at the end of my term, whenever it ends, no one will ever describe my administration as a toxic work environment.”
In regards to Hochul’s choice for her lieutenant governor, she said it’s likely that she announces that choice within the next two weeks, and says she’s going to use her experience in that position to make that selection.
“We’re considering a number of individuals,” Hochul said. “The fortunate thing for me is that I’ve spent so much time in seven years getting to know so many elected officials and community leaders, personally, so I understand who they are. It will be someone who is no stranger to me, but also someone who will carry on the vision of my administration to the strong progressive politics to bring this state forward.”
When asked about her connection to the now embattled Cuomo administration, Hochul says while the exit of the governor wasn’t ideal, she said she was proud to have worked on many policies that have helped New Yorkers.
“Many people have supported the politics of the Cuomo administration,” Hochul said. “There is a strong legacy of accomplishment and I was out there in the streets, fighting for raising the minimum wage, fighting for paid family leave, and I was a champion of policies to eradicate the spectra of heroin abuse, something that has touched my family personally; child care issues, I’ve been out there making announcements on affordable housing, clean energy projects, and economic development. So that will continue, those policies will continue and be even more enhanced.
“But with respect to the environment and the reputation of the current administration, I think it’s pretty clear and it’s no secret that I’m not associated with that,” Hochul said. “I know the job, I fought for the same policies and that’s why I’m the most prepared for this position. My administration will be fully transparent when I’m governor, but I’m not governor yet.”
This is a developing story. Check back with News 8 WROC for updates.