New York’s Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who will succeed current Governor Andrew Cuomo when he resigns on August 24, announced she will run for a full term as governor in 2022.
Hochul said that after she finishes the remaining 15 months of the term, she will be the most equipped to lead the state, the Wall Street Journal reported. She served as lieutenant governor for six years, and was a moderate Democratic congresswoman representing a Republican district in New York state for several years.
“I am confident they will see that I fight..every single day,” Hochul said.
According to NY1, Hochul is considering Harlem State Sen. Brian Benjamin, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Sen. Jamaal Bailey, or Brooklyn Democratic Chair Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn for her own Lieutenant Governor.
She said that her first priority as governor would to be ensure the school year starts smoothly even as coronavirus cases surge throughout the country.
“I believe that there will end up being mask mandates,” she said.
Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris said her priorities should be distributing rent relief and other financial aid already approved by the state senate.
“The first order of business is getting the administration of the executive branch up to speed. We have been paralyzed for the last several months,” Gianaris told the Wall Street Journal.
New York City Democratic nominee for mayor Eric Adams told reporters that he had already called Hochul and said the two will focus on coronavirus, crime, and are already discussing housing for the homeless.
“She has a steady hand, and I believe that she’s going to be able to navigate the challenges that we’re having and then voters will decide what’s going to happen in the future,” Adams said, according to the New York Post.
Until recently, Cuomo was expected to have an easy path to a fourth term as governor, one more than his father, former governor Mario Cuomo. Now, there are several high profile politicians who are rumored to be considering running.
State Attorney General Letitia James, though she has not said if she would run, has long been considered a strong candidate. A widely respected prosecutor, James’ extensive report into inappropriate and bullying in Cuomo’s office prompted the governor to resign. Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is also widely expected to be a frontrunner, should he throw his hat into the ring.
Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin has already announced his candidacy.