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Lt. Gov. Hochul says she and Cuomo aren’t close; she’s ready to lead New York

New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul addresses reporters in her first news conference since the announced resignation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Photo credit: Mike Groll / Cuomo flickr page)

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul says she thinks it’s “very clear” that she and Gov. Andrew Cuomo “have not been close, physically or otherwise.”

“I’ve been traveling the state and do not spend much time in his presence or in the presence of many in the state capital,” Hochul said during a news conference held Wednesday afternoon.

It was Hochul’s first appearance before reporters since Cuomo announced Tuesday that would resign in a few weeks and that she would become the next governor.

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She was answering a question about whether the working conditions in the governor’s office were “toxic.”

Hochul began her remarks saying that she thanked Cuomo for his service to the state.

“Regarding his decision to step down… I believe it is appropriate and in the best interest of the state of New York,” Hochul said.

Hochul was asked about the 14-day waiting period for Cuomo’s resignation to become official. She said Cuomo’s people “viewed as necessary” allowing time to meet cabinet officials and other people.

“I’m ready. I want people to know that I’m ready for this. It’s not something we expected or asked for but I’m fully prepared to assume the responsibilities as the 57th governor of the state of New York,” Hochul said.

Over the next two weeks, Hochul plans to continue meetings with current and potential cabinet officials. She’ll build out her senior staff and “do what I’ve always done.”

“I will travel the state to meet New Yorkers, to listen to them, to assure them, that I’ve got their backs. And I’ll take their concerns and bring them back to our state capital and work with our partners in every level of government to come to solutions,” Hochul said.

Hochul has spoken with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.), U.S. Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D–N.Y.), and others. As far as Hochul’s concerned, Cuomo remains the governor until his resignation become official.

As for who will replace her as lieutenant governor, the process of selecting her replacement is underway.

“Certainly a lot of people have reached out to me … I’m really excited about working with the next lieutenant governor, who will be named within the next few weeks,” said Hochul.

 

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