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New York State Has a Female Governor! And a Black Lieutenant Governor

By Lori Perkins

Image Taken from Kathy Hochul’s Twitter

Kathy Hochul, a 62 year-old politician from Buffalo, was sworn in on Tuesday as Governor of New York Sate after Andrew Cuomo, the once king of COVID briefings and three-time elected governor, resigned under the cloud of multiple sexual harassment accusations from staff members and others.

Hochul also named her Lieutenant Governor, State Senator Brian Benjamin from Harlem, as well as two female aides: Karen Persichilli Keogh as Secretary to the Governor and Elizabeth Fine as Hochul's chief legal counselor, in a sign that the culture of the state’s government has already changed.

For the first time ever, a majority of the most powerful figures in New York state government are women, including state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Attorney General Letitia James and the chief judge, DiFiore. However, a man, Speaker Carl Heastie, leads the state Assembly.

Hochul, who said she didn't work closely with Cuomo and wasn't aware of the harassment allegations before they became public, has vowed no one will ever call her workplace "toxic."

"I have a different approach to governing," Hochul said Wednesday in Queens, adding, "I get the job done because I don't have time for distractions, particularly coming into this position."


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