SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR) — With increasing pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign, the focus is shifting to his Lt. Gov., Kathy Hochul, next in line per the state constitution.

The Buffalo-area native became politically active as a Syracuse University student, where she led the charge to name the Carrier Dome for Ernie Davis instead. After law school, she worked in Washington before returning home and winning a seat on the Hamburg town board, where she led the movement to remove tolls for a section of the Thruway. She was the Erie County Clerk before one term in Congress.

A longtime friend of Hochul, Jeremy Zellner, says she’s prepared for the job. “Whether it’s Brooklyn, to Binghamton to Buffalo, Kathy can connect with people. It’s because she’s lived a life that she is able to connect with people as a regular person, as I said, she just happens to be a regular person at the end of the day who happens to be Lieutenant Governor,” Zellner said.

If Cuomo resigns, Hochul would become the first woman ever to hold the state’s highest office, and the first true Upstate New Yorker in exactly 100 years.

“I’ve known Kathy now almost two decades,” Zellner said. “She’s tenacious. That’s the one word I’d say describes her. She’s hard-working. She’s worked at every level of government, and knows how to make government work for people,” Zellner said.

Zellner said, “She will be ready if something should happen with the Governor.”

The keyword is if.