Kathy Hochul Is Sworn In as New York’s First Female Governor

Ms. Hochul, who succeeds Andrew M. Cuomo after his resignation, has vowed to usher in a new era of civility and consensus in state government.

Kathy C. Hochul, a former congresswoman from Buffalo, became the 57th governor of New York early Tuesday, making history as the first woman to ascend to the state’s highest office.

She was sworn in at the State Capitol by the state’s chief judge, Janet DiFiore, in a private ceremony, capping a whirlwind chain of events that followed a series of sexual harassment allegations made against the outgoing governor, Andrew M. Cuomo.

Andrew Cuomo Resignation:

Ms. Hochul, 62, assumes office three weeks after a state attorney general investigation concluded that Mr. Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women. A week later, Mr. Cuomo announced his resignation, bringing his 10-year reign to an abrupt end after rising to national fame during the pandemic last year.

Governor Hochul, a Democrat, has vowed to lead the state through a still surging pandemic and economic uncertainty, while ushering in a new era of civility and consensus in state government.

“I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders and I will tell New Yorkers I’m up for the task,” Ms. Hochul told WGRZ-TV, a Buffalo-based news station, shortly after she was sworn in. “I thought about all the women that came before me, including my mother who was not there, but a lot of women through history, and I felt they passed the torch to me.”

One of the first challenges facing Hochul will be to establish her governorship as a fresh start after the hostile climate that increasingly swirled around her predecessor. She has vowed to remove any Cuomo staffer found to have acted unethically and pledged that “no one will ever describe my administration as a toxic work environment” – a reference to one of the key findings against Cuomo in the attorney general’s report.

She is also facing ongoing economic turmoil amid the pandemic, with the state suffering the fourth-highest unemployment rate in the country.


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