NEW YORK (PIX11) — Kathy Hochul already made history as the first woman to serve as New York’s governor and now she’s done it again.
After beating Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, Hochul has become the first woman elected as governor in New York, the Associated Press reports. Hochul took over as governor in 2021 after Andrew Cuomo resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment.
“You made me the first woman ever elected to be the governor of the state of New York, but I’m not here to make history, I’m here to make a difference,” Hochul said when she declared victory late Tuesday. “And because of all of you, we’ll keep making progress, breaking down barriers, breaking grass ceilings, helping New York achieve the greatness it is capable of.”
Hochul, who was Cuomo’s lieutenant governor for six years, promised to restore New Yorkers’ faith in its government after stepping into the office last summer, but she hit a major stumbling block in April, when her handpicked lieutenant governor was arrested in a federal corruption probe.
She began leading New York when the state was still fighting back COVID. A short time after she was sworn in, Ida battered New York and Hochul jumped to aid with recovery.
Since then, crime has been a major issue and focus. Bail reform laws were tweaked amid criticism. Restrictions around guns were signed into law after a deadly Buffalo supermarket shooting and a Supreme Court ruling overturned historical rules around firearms in New York. Those laws currently face challenges in the court, which Hochul said she expected.
“What keeps me up at night is the whole specter of crime and how we can do more to get guns off the street,” Hochul previously told PIX11 News. “That’s the area where the governor has the most influence.”
One change, started by Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams, establishes Gun-Free Zones. Under the change, guns are blocked in sensitive areas.
Hochul also worked with Adams to bring more cops and cameras to New York City’s transit system in the wake of the Brooklyn subway attack that left 10 shot as well as a slew of other high-profile crimes. Hochul announced plans to install two high-quality surveillance cameras in more than 6,000 train cars.
Outside of crime, abortion has been an area of concern for Hochul. She’s affirmed there will be abortion access in New York for both residents and people coming in from other states.
New York’s most recent budget under Hochul included tax relief for middle-income earners and property tax relief. She’s not currently planning any hikes.
A big hit to New York’s budget has been the influx of around 20,000 migrants. Leaders in New York City have asked Albany for help.
Hochul said she’s had multiple conversations with President Joe Biden on the issue. She’s asked for federal aid for shelter and food.
First Lady Jill Biden was among Hochul’s supporters during her campaign. Former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also stumped for Hochul. She also received support from Adams.