Hochul swearing-in changes the landscape of Albany politics

Hochul Administration

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — There’s no doubt it was a historically significant day in New York as Kathy Hochul was sworn in as the first female Governor. The oft-used phrase “three men in a room” — meaning the Governor, Assembly Speaker, and Senate Majority Leader make all the major decisions in Albany politics — is no more. Now, two women will be inside that room for the first time.  

“This is revolutionary,” Siena College Political Science Professor Dr. Leonard Cutler said.  

Although New York is considered to be a progressive state, Cutler said three white men in a room has been the standard throughout the state’s history.

“But that’s been the cultural tradition in the state and the practical transition. Hopefully, that’s broken.”

Hochul showed the importance of that newly created trio by thanking Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in her first speech after the public swearing-in ceremony.

“We had a long journey together, and I so look forward to continuing the relationship we’ve had but even deepening it,” Hochul said. 

However unprecedented, Hochul’s ceremony still held much of the same pomp and circumstance of those who came before her with an opening prayer and an oath of office over the Bible. 

Tuesday’s toned-down public ceremony standing in stark contrast to the last Lieutenant Governor to step up to the position—David Paterson who replaced Eliot Spitzer in 2008. 

Paterson’s ceremony was in front of a packed audience in the Assembly chamber with several interruptions of thunderous applause and standing ovations in between his oath. 

Hochul’s first words after the ceremony confirmed her choice for simplicity during the process.

“You’ll find that brevity is the hallmark of my administration,” Hochul said. 

She held her first meeting as governor directly after that ceremony with Heastie and Stewart-Cousins.  She said together they will be tackling the most pressing issues in New York state. 

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