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Hochul promises early appointment of new lieutenant governor

Hochul promises early appointment of new lieutenant governor

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Hochul Albany 3

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks to the media in Albany, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.

Kathy Hochul, the New York lieutenant governor about to succeed Andrew M. Cuomo as governor, said today she will act as soon as within two weeks to name her successor as the state's second in command.

"It will be somebody who is no stranger to me, but also someone that will carry on the vision of my administration, which is to continue the strongly progressive policies," she said in Albany.

In her first Capitol news conference since Cuomo announced Tuesday that he will resign on Aug. 24 following a host of sexual harassment allegations, Hochul seemed momentarily torn in answering a question regarding the geographic base of the next lieutenant governor.

"I love upstate. I love downstate. I love the whole state. I am cognizant for the need for diversity and an inclusive ticket and I'm going to name someone that I believe the state will be familiar with and will be very proud of," she said. 

"But the process is in its early stages," she added.

Hochul faces the process of naming a new lieutenant governor for only the second time in New York history. Former Gov. David A. Paterson appointed former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Richard Ravitch to the vacant number two spot in July of 2009. Paterson had ascended from lieutenant governor to governor more than a year earlier after Eliot L. Spitzer resigned in a sex scandal. The move marked the first time any governor attempted to fill a lieutenant governor vacancy, and was immediately challenged as unconstitutional by Cuomo, then the attorney general.

But following litigation through the state court system, the Court of Appeals – in a 4-3 decision – declared Paterson's appointment constitutional in September of 2009. Ravitch served in the job until 2010 when Cuomo was elected governor and Robert J. Duffy lieutenant governor.

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