New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is preparing to take over for Andrew Cuomo: report

New York Lt. Gov Kathy Hochul.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

New York’s lieutenant governor is already making preparations to take over the Empire State’s top job.
Kathy Hochul would step in as governor if Andrew Cuomo were to resign.
She would also become acting governor if a majority of the Assembly votes to impeach him.
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New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul has reportedly begun preparations to staff up in the governor’s office if and when she needs to replace Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Hochul has "sought advice on potential first steps in office, as well as whom to hire and which members of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration might stay on if he resigned or was removed from office," according to Jimmy Vielkind of the Wall Street Journal.
Hochul is gearing up for what happens if Cuomo is impeached or resigns after bombshell revelations in New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ report of the three-term governor sexually harassing 11 women and creating a "hostile work environment."
Impeachment has gone from a remote possibility to a likely end to Cuomo’s tenure in office following the report and more calls for his resignation, ratcheting up pressure in his months-long fight for political survival amid multiple ongoing scandals.
As a former staffer for the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Hochul has connections across New York politics that go back decades.
If Cuomo resigns or gets removed through impeachment, Hochul would take office and serve out the rest of his term until 2023. If either scenario plays out, Hochul would be New York’s first female governor.
Hochul spent the last several months holding limited public events with minimal press availability, a stark departure from her reputation as an omnipresent state official who has been to all 62 counties in the Empire State.
That changed last week, when she released a statement condemning her boss in the how the report "documented repulsive and unlawful behavior by the governor."
-Jon Campbell (@JonCampbellGAN) August 3, 2021She stopped short of calling on him to resign, and cited her duty in the line of succession.
Hochul’s statement came on the heels of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling on Cuomo to resign, joining the entire New York congressional delegation in making the same plea.
Despite the turmoil in the governor’s office last week, Hochul and Cuomo did not speak to each other even once, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"Not only does she know all the players in the Democratic Party and the government, she’s respected by them," New York State Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs told the Journal.
"I don’t think it’s going to take much for her to step up," he added.
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