Cuomo harassment scandal: Who is NY Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, next in line for governor’s office?

Politics

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul campaign together at the Hotel Trade Council during a reelection event in New York City on Sept. 8, 2014. (Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Calls for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation mounted on Tuesday after a scathing report detailing sexual harassment and misconduct involving 11 women was released by the New York attorney general.

Cuomo dismissed the findings of the independent investigation and continued to deny many of the allegations against him.

While the attorney general’s investigation concluded without any referrals to criminal prosecutors, local authorities could decide to use its evidence and findings to mount their own cases. The report was also expected to play an important role in an ongoing inquiry in the state Assembly into whether there are grounds for Cuomo to be impeached.

If Cuomo leaves office before the end of his term, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul would become the first woman governor in New York history. She would hold the office through the remainder of Cuomo’s term, which runs through 2022.

Hochul is the highest-ranking female elected official in New York State.

As lieutenant governor, Hochul chairs 10 Regional Economic Development Councils responsible for collectively investing $6.1 billion into more than 7,300 projects statewide. 

She also co-chairs the state’s Heroin and Opioid Abuse Task Force and spearheaded the “Enough is Enough” campaign to combat sexual assault on college campuses. 

Hochul was born and raised in Buffalo. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a law degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

After serving as County Clerk from 2007 to 2011, Hochul won a special election for the U.S. House seat in New York’s 26th Congressional District, flipping a Republican stronghold district for Democrats. 

She served as a congresswoman through 2013, but lost her re-election bid.

While running for his second gubernatorial term in 2014, Cuomo announced Hochul as his choice for the lieutenant governor nomination after Robert Duffy decided not to run again.

Hochul and Cuomo won the election and were re-elected to a second and third term, respectively, in 2018.

Hochul has two children, Will and Katie, with her husband Bill. 

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