New York Deputy Governor Kathy Hochul gives a press conference at the State Capitol in Albany. Photo: Hans Pennink / FR58980 AP / dpa
“I think it is very clear that the governor and I were not very close,” said the 62-year-old Democratic Party politician at her first press conference as governor-designate in Albany on Wednesday.
The working atmosphere, which a report under Cuomo had described as “hostile” for women with a “climate of fear”, will change under her leadership and there will also be personnel changes among the employees, promised Hochul, who has been the deputy since 2015 Cuomo is. “At the end of my term of office, whenever that is, nobody will describe my government as a toxic work atmosphere.” Hochul also promised transparency.
Cuomo resigned on Tuesday after ten years in office – a week after an official investigation alleged that he had sexually harassed several women. The 63-year-old Democratic Party politician announced that he would resign in 14 days – then Hochul will take over. This is the first time that a woman will officiate as governor of the state on the US east coast, at least temporarily.
The handover will run smoothly, Cuomo promised her that, said the lawyer and mother of two, who has held various political offices in the state for decades. Her style is to listen to people and then act decisively. “I will fight like hell for you every day,” she promised the people of New York State.
Hochul defended the issues that she and Cuomo had campaigned for over the past few years – including the minimum wage. The government has achieved a lot in this regard. “I know the job, I’ve fought for the same issues, so I’m better suited to this job than anyone else.”