Kathy Hochul is addressing New Yorkers on Tuesday after being sworn in as governor just after midnight, becoming the first woman to hold the position. She takes over from following accusations of sexual harassment.
Hochul became the state’s 57th governor at a brief, legally required ceremony in Albany.
“It was a very emotional moment for me, and my family was there,” Hochul told CBS New York after the swearing-in. “I thought about all the women who came before me, including my mother who was not there, but a lot of women through history, and I felt they passed the torch to me.”
The Buffalo native is taking over as the state faces a number of crisis situations, including getting COVID-19 under control, major problems with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the expiration of the state eviction moratorium at the end of the month.
“I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders, but I will tell New Yorkers I’m up for the task and I’m really proud to be able to serve as their governor and I won’t let them down,” she said.
Her swearing-in came three weeks after the state attorney general’s report on the investigation into sexual harassment allegations against then-governor Andrew Cuomo was released. A week later, Cuomo announced his resignation.
On Monday, he gave a final address to tout his successes over the last decade, while defending himself against sexual harassment allegations.
“The truth will come out in time,” he said.
In his resignation letter, he wrote, “It has been my pleasure to serve.” Of Hochul, he said, “I believe she will step up to the challenge.”