Politics Who is Kathy Hochul? Meet the woman who could succeed Cuomo if he leaves office
The swift rise and disastrous fall of Andrew Cuomo, America's wannabe Covid hero
Democrats need to reckon with the record of politicians on both sides of the aisle who have used Trump, the pandemic, or both to elevate their profile.Cuomo became a hero to Democrats across the country last spring, his stature on par with President Barack Obama, with live-streamed daily press briefings that projected steely resolve and paternal authority in the face of a deadly menace. The New York Times’ media columnist Ben Smith called him “the executive best suited to the coronavirus.” As the 2020 Democratic presidential primary dragged on, buzz circulated that Cuomo would be a better candidate than Biden.
With New York Gov.under investigation for his miscounting of COVID-19 nursing home deaths and the New York attorney general reviewing sexual harassment allegations against him, the spotlight now shines on Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who would be the next in line if Cuomo leaves office.
Hochul, 62, would be New York's first female governor if she assumes office. New York faced a similar change in power in 2008 when David Paterson assumed the office following Gov. Eliot Spitzer's resignation over a prostitution scandal.
The upstate native, who has been in her position since 2015, has had a long history with New York state politics.
‘Hard to see the path out’: Cuomo besieged as crises grow
"It appears he's earned himself a primary," said New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.Now, two months later, he’s embroiled in two major scandals and facing a daily onslaught of questions about deaths in nursing homes, accusations of sexual impropriety and growing speculation that his political career may be in jeopardy.
Born in Buffalo, New York, Hochul earned a B.A. degree from Syracuse University in 1980 and a J.D. from Catholic University four years later.
After graduating from law school, she worked for a private Washington D.C. firm before serving as legal counsel and legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. John LaFalce and later U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, according to.
In 1994, Hochul was elected to the Hamburg Town Board in Erie County, New York, and served until 2007 when she was appointed the Erie County Clerk.
Gov. Cuomo faces calls to resign from lawmakers after 3rd woman comes forward
Rep. Kathleen Rice has become the first New York Democrat in Congress to call for him to step down. "The time has come. The Governor must resign," Rice, a former district attorney, tweeted Monday night.
"She served as liaison to the local economic development agency and worked to attract new businesses and create jobs following the loss of the [Western New York] manufacturing base," her bio said.
During her time in office, Hochul also worked to help displaced women. In 2006, she, her mother and her aunt established the Kathleen Mary House, a transitional home for victims of domestic violence.
In 2011, Hochul was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election for New York's 26th district. Chris Collins would defeat her in the 2012 election.
During her tenure, she sat on the Armed Services and Homeland Security committees.
Cuomo nominated Hochul to be his lieutenant governor when he successfully ran for his second term in 2014. Cuomo and Hochul won re-election in 2018.
Under the Cuomo administration, Hochul has overseen several state projects and governing groups. She chairs 10 regional economic development councils, which help decide investments for projects in New York and the State Workforce Investment Board.
Cuomo appointed her as co-chair of the Heroin and Opioid Abuse Task Force. Hochul also led the governor’s "Enough is Enough" campaign to combat sexual assault on college campuses, according to her bio.
‘Buy some time, and hope that things calm down’: Cuomo’s crisis playbook .
The New York Democrat’s reign as ‘America’s governor’ may have come to an end, but it’s far less certain that his actual governorship is end-stage. Ralph Northam, the Virginia governor who was on a political death watch following his blackface scandal, survived. So did an on-the-ropes President Bill Clinton, in whose administration Cuomo served during impeachment, giving him an up-close look at how to survive the seemingly unsurvivable.