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Who is Kathy Hochul and what do local lawmakers think of her?

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 4:57 PM EDT
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ALBANY, New York (WWNY) - Once Cuomo’s resignation goes into effect, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will take over - becoming New York’s first female governor. So, who is Kathy Hochul and what do we know about her?

She has been described as the “friendly face” of the Cuomo administration - traveling around the state for ceremonies and meetings with local officials. She’ s no stranger to the north country, having visited this area numerous times since she became lieutenant governor in 2015.

“Kathy Hochul, my lieutenant governor, is smart and competent,” said Governor Cuomo during his resignation speech Tuesday.

She is also an experienced politician who has served in town, county, state and federal governments. A steelworker’s daughter, the 62 year old Buffalo native is a Syracuse University graduate and a lawyer.

In her early career, Hochul served as Erie County Clerk. Republican State Senator Patty Ritchie, also a former county clerk, got to know Hochul well back then.

“She worked on issues that were important to the people I represent when we were county clerks together, so I know she is very familiar with the district and I think that bodes well for the people that I represent,” said Ritchie (R. - 48th District).

Described as a centrist Democrat, Hochul went on to serve in Congress, even receiving an endorsement by the National Rifle Association.

Her politics moved to the left when Cuomo tapped her as his running mate in 2014. She backed New York’s SAFE Act, one of the nation’s toughest gun control laws, as well as the state’s Green Light Law, which let unauthorized immigrants get driver’s licenses. But, that was then.

“I don’t know where she’s gonna go politically, but I do know that her background tells us that she’s a more moderate Democrat. Now, will she be pushed to one side? Will the left push her? I don’t know,” said Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R. - 117th District).

“When someone switches to that governor’s seat, then we get to see really what their policy platform is, so I think we’ll see,” said Assemblyman Mark Walczyk (R. - 116th District).

After Cuomo announced his decision to resign, Hochul called it “the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers.”

On a personal level, Hochul is married and has a son and daughter.

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