After her official swearing in at midnight, Kathy Hochul ceremonially took the oath of office to become New York's 57th governor Tuesday morning, becoming the state's first female governor and ushering in a new era after Andrew Cuomo led the state for the last decade.
Cuomo resigned this month amid a sexual harassment scandal that had simmered for most of 2021.
"This is an emotional moment for me, but it's one I've prepared for," the new governor said.
Hochul has already sought to assert herself stylistically different from Cuomo. She's pledged there won't be the kind of bullying tactics from her office that had for many become a hallmark of the Cuomo years in Albany.
“I want people to believe in a government again. It’s important to me that people have faith," Hochul said.
For New Yorkers, the key issue facing the state likely remains the COVID-19 pandemic, the uncertain path forward with the recovery of the economy and the reopening. Hochul said she will be making announcements regarding the pandemic later Tuesday and throughout the week, including one about a potential vaccine mandate for teachers, and updates to delivering much-needed and much-delayed state aid for tenants and landlords.
Hochul plans to outline her initial priorities during a 3 p.m. address, she said. She also will meet with leaders of the state Legislature on Tuesday.
The new governor has already indicated she will run for a full term next year and plans to announce her choice for lieutenant governor later this week. Her No. 2 is expected to be from New York City, and will likely be a person of color, and several names have been floated from the state Legislature, including Sens. Jamaal Bailey and Brian Benjamin as well as Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte.