New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday that she plans to run for governor in 2022 after she serves out the rest of departing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s term, Axios reports.
Cuomo on Tuesday announced that he would resign within 14 days amid an impeachment push by fellow Democrats after a report from New York Attorney General Letitia James detailed sexual harassment and misconduct allegations from 11 women.
Hochul, who is set to become the state’s first woman governor, vowed during a press conference on Wednesday that her tenure will be very different than her predecessor.
"At the end of my term, whenever it ends, no one will ever describe my administration as a toxic work environment," she vowed.
Hochul also pledged to oust any Cuomo holdovers who were involved in “unethical” conduct while building out her own team.
“I’ll build out my senior staff,” she said. “And I’ll do what I’ve always done. I will travel the state to meet New Yorkers, to listen to them, to assure them that I’ve got their backs.”
Hochul said that she would pick a lieutenant governor before she takes office.
Hochul to run in 2022:
Hochul told NBC News on Thursday that she plans to run for a full term next year.
"I’m the most prepared person to assume this responsibility, and I’m going to ask the voters for their faith in me again," she said. "I am confident that they'll see that I fight like hell every single day. It's how I'm hardwired, and I'm looking forward to this challenge and I won't let New Yorkers down.”
Hochul reiterated that she will begin her tenure by cleaning house.
"Very first steps will be ensuring that anyone who's named in the report released by the Attorney General, being involved in any kind of unethical behavior will no longer be part of this administration,” she said. “They're gone on day one. So let's get that very clear."
Hochul said she was unaware of Cuomo’s behavior.
"That was very much an insular situation, what was going on in his office, I think if anyone knows my career, they know that I've not been close to the governor,” she said. “It's no secret. And my schedule reflects that I spend very little time in Albany, except when I'm presiding over the Senate. So I travel. I've been the chief advocate, as chief spokesman for this administration championing causes all over the state. So I've not been in the rooms when this has happened. And it is actually sickening to me to see this surface."
Letitia James, who brought about Cuomo’s downfall, is also rumored to be considering a run for governor next year.
Other potential candidates include outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sen. Kyrsten Gillibrand, though it is still early.
Cuomo still has the biggest financial war chest in the state and could certainly mount another campaign as well.
On the Republican side, Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, and Andrew Giuliani, the son of Rudy Giuliani, have announced their own bids.