Cuomo raised eyebrows earlier this week after he said he would leave office in 14 days, rather than the immediate resignation that many public figures sought after an independent investigation concluded the governor sexually harassed at least 11 women. During Hochul’s first press conference since Cuomo’s resignation, a reporter asked how the lieutenant governor felt about the lengthy transition.
“It’s not what I asked for,” Hochul said. “However, I’m looking forward to a smooth transition, which he has promised. He spoke to me about wanting to make sure the transition to continuity is important, that I have an opportunity to meet Cabinet officials, other people as well. They viewed it as necessary.”
“I’m prepared to take office as any lieutenant governor is from the very first hour you’re sworn in as lieutenant governor,” she added. “However, I will take advantage of that time and to continue to engage with the people of the state of New York.”
Cuomo resigned Tuesday amid intense bipartisan pressure from officials at the state and national level, including both of New York’s U.S. senators and President Biden. Prior to his resignation, Cuomo faced an impeachment probe regarding both the allegations of sexual harassment and his handling of COVID-19 deaths at state nursing homes.
Cuomo’s last day in office is on Aug. 24. Hochul will be the first female governor in state history.
As governor, Hochul will inherit a fraught political climate in New York as the state aims to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
“I have a vision, but I’m going to continue to develop that. And at the end of the 14 days, I look forward to coming back to a venue like this and to make sure that we are ready to deal with all the challenges we face,” Hochul added.