Kathy Hochul to run for Governor next year
- Kathy Hochul will serve Andrew Cuomo's remaining term as the governor
- Hochul will become the first woman to be New York's governor
- She said she will not tolerate harassment in her administration.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, on Thursday, said she has plans to run for governor next year. The Buffalo Democrat will be the acting-governor for Andrew Cuomo's remaining term, following his step-down amid sexual harassment allegations.
“Yes I will. I fully expect to,” Hochul said in an interview with NBC's “Today” show. “I am prepared for this. I have led a life working in every level of government, from Congress to local government. I am the most prepared person to assume this responsibility and I’m going to ask the voters at some point for their faith in me again but right now I need their faith, I need their prayers and I need their support to make sure we get this right.”
Hochul will become the first woman to be New York's governor after Cuomo officially resigns on Aug. 24. She has earlier served one term in Congress before she won election as lieutenant governor in 2014.
On being asked whether the state Assembly should go ahead with impeachment proceedings despite Cuomo's impending exit, she told NBC, “I don’t believe it’s my position to weigh in on that situation.”
The Buffalo Democrat expressed her opinion on mask mandates to curb the COVID-19 spread and said although she doesn't have the authority to make the call yet, she believes there'll end up being mask mandates.
While the governor cannot mandate mask wearing across the state's public schools, the state Health Department can issue guidance strongly recommending that school districts require face coverings.
Kathy Hochul envisions working together with parents, teachers and school district officials on the issue of mask requirements.
She said she would draw on federal CDC recommendations and all available COVID-19 data but added, "also, we need be talking to the school districts as well. That hasn’t happened in the past and it’s the way I think it should be. To find out what’s their anxiety. Why there’s any objection to this.”
Cuomo announced on Tuesday that he would resign rather than face an impeachment trial. This came after Attorney General Letitia James released a report claiming he sexually harassed 11 women and describing a toxic work environment in his administration.
Cuomo, 63, denies the allegations and said he wants to fight back against the harassment claims. But he added it was best for him to step aside so the state’s leaders could “get back to governing.”
The 62-year-old Kathy Hochul gave her first-ever statement as governor in waiting on Wednesday, reiterating she will not tolerate harassment in her administration.
“I want to make sure that there’s a message that I’m tough,” Hochul said. “I’m not going to put up with anything that crosses the line or even comes close to the line because this should be an environment where all people, women, members of the LGBTQ community, anyone, is free of harassment that they can come to work, work for the people of New York state, focused and get the job done.”
With Inputs from AP