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Hochul declares she is ready to take over after Cuomo's departure

Suddenly tapped to lead New York through a pandemic and a political earthquake, Lt. Gov Kathy Hochul said Wednesday she was prepared to steer the state and would set a different tone than Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is resigning amid sexual harassment allegations.

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Hochul declares she is ready to take over after Cuomo's departure

Hochul stated, "I want people know that I'm prepared for this." "I am more prepared than anyone for this job."

Hochul stated that she would alter the culture of the top state office after the Democratic governor resigned.

The lieutenant governor promised that no one would ever refer to her administration as toxic. She said there would be no place in her administration for any Cuomo aides who were implicated in unethical behavior by the state attorney general's investigation of his behavior toward women.

Hochul, a 62 year-old Democrat from Western New York, will become the state's first woman governor in just two weeks. This follows a remarkable transition period during which Cuomo said he would work to make Hochul feel at ease into a job he dominated in his three terms.

Hochul's political career has taken her from a town board to Congress. As lieutenant governor, Hochul has spent much time traveling the state in search of ribbon-cuttings, announcements, and other events. She is still unfamiliar to many New Yorkers and took Wednesday's opportunity to reintroduce herself.

She said, "People will soon discover that my style is listening first, then taking decisive action."

Hochul tried to distance herself from the governor while championing Cuomo-era achievements like the raising of the minimum wage and the requirement for paid family leave for millions private-sector workers. Hochul said that she did not spend much time with him, and was unaware of any of the alleged impropriety later described by state Attorney General Letitia Jam's report.

Cuomo said Tuesday that he will resign rather than face an impeachment trial. This was after James, a fellow Democrat released a report stating that Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women. One woman accused him of touching her breasts.

Cuomo (63) denies touching anyone in inappropriate ways and stated that his instinct was fight back against unfair or fabricated claims. Cuomo said that the state was still in a crisis of pandemics and it was better for him to leave so that the state's leaders can "get back to governing."

Hochul will take the job. Hochul deliberately kept a low profile as lieutenant governor of a state where Cuomo demanded and commanded the spotlight.

Hochul shares Cuomo’s centrist politics, but is a stylistic contradiction to a governor who is known for steamrolling opponents or holding grudges. Colleagues love Hochul and don't think voters should confuse Cuomo's quiet approach with lack of competence or confidence.

"Lt. "Lt. Gov. She understands the state's complexities and requirements.

It remains to be seen how involved Cuomo will be in state government over the next two weeks, or how he'll manage handing over authority -- something he rarely ceded during his time in office.

His circle of advisers has shrunk, but his closest aide and policymaking partner Melissa DeRosa -- who was a familiar face at Cuomo's side during his televised briefings on New York's fight against the coronavirus pandemic -- made a surprise return after having announced her resignation from the administration Sunday. According to Cuomo's office, she will continue in her role as secretary to governor until Cuomo leaves.

Cuomo maintained that he could weather the storm for several days, even though his closest advisers said otherwise.

Cuomo was frustrated privately that not many people would speak out in his defense publicly. According to someone with direct knowledge of Cuomo's last days as governor, he pressed his lawyer and remaining advisors to challenge the credibility of their accusers. The person spoke on condition that he remain anonymous to The Associated Press to discuss private and sensitive conversations.

Cuomo decided to resign following DeRosa's resignation and started drafting remarks for a resignation letter, the person stated.

Cuomo had told a few of his closest advisors late Monday night that he planned to resign. Cuomo kept the news secret and did not tell any New York Democrats.

According to the person, the governor personally created messaging to attack the attorney general's report. He also had a hand shaping some of the words that Rita Glavin, his attorney, gave in a virtual briefing before he resigned.

The leaders of the state legislature are yet to comment on whether or not they will drop an impeachment probe that has been ongoing since March and was expected to end in the coming weeks.

The state Assembly hired lawyers to investigate Cuomo's conduct with women. They also investigated whether the administration had manipulated COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes. Also, whether Cuomo was obtaining improper help from his staff in writing a book on the pandemic.

Republicans have urged the Democratic-controlled legislature to go ahead with impeachment, possibly to prevent Cuomo from running for office again.

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