ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Kathy Hochul became the first female governor of New York on Tuesday, inheriting immense challenges as she takes over an administration facing criticism for inaction during Andrew Cuomo’s distracted final months in office.
Hochul, a Democrat and former member of Congress from Western New York, took the oath of office just after midnight in a brief, private event overseen by the state’s chief judge, Janet DiFiore.
A ceremonial swearing-in was planned Tuesday morning at the New York State Capitol, with more pomp than the brief, legally required event during the night. Hochul planned a public address at 3 p.m.
“I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders and I’ll tell New Yorkers I’m up to the task. And I’m really proud to be able to serve as their governor and I won’t let them down,” Hochul told one of her hometown Buffalo television stations, WGRZ, as she left the Capitol early Tuesday morning.
Over the next few months, Hochul, who was a little-known figure as lieutenant governor, will have an opportunity to reshape the way power works in Albany, where Cuomo dominated decision-making for years before being felled in a sexual harassment scan