ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul made her first public speech since Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation announcement in the Blue Room at the New York Capitol. Although her formal statement was under five minutes long, she wanted to clarify that she is ready for the job.
Hochul said Governor Cuomo pledged his full support for a smooth transition process Tuesday. Today, Hochul laid out her plans for the next two weeks.
“I’ll build out my senior staff, and I’ll 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,” Hochul said.
Hochul said there can only be one governor of New York at a time, and Cuomo will still hold the position for the next 13 days.
“I’m ready. I want people to know I’m ready for this,” Hochul said. “And 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 New York.”
Although next in line, Hochul said she hasn’t been close to Cuomo physically or otherwise. Additionally, her perspective was apparent when she was asked how Cuomo’s current staff would be handled moving forward.
“They’ll be turnover, and that is the description from many witnesses and the Attorney General’s report,” Hochul said.
And she wanted to make that distance clear.
“And I want 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,” Hochul said.
Hochul said she is prepared for the next chapter and will continue to tackle many of the same issues she had in the past.
“So, I know the job; I fought for the same policies,” Hochul said. “That’s why I’m more prepared than anyone could possibly be for this position.”
She also briefly touched on her plans for COVID-19 but promised to lay out a full strategy once she becomes Governor of New York.
“More people being vaccinated is our key out of this,” Hochul said. “And to come up with a very strategic approach to target that and make sure we overcome the hesitation and worries, but also to make it more widely available.”
Kathy Hochul will take office on August 24 after Cuomo formally resigns as Governor. She added that she plans to announce her pick for Lieutenant Governor before she is sworn in.