“To those New Yorkers who have yet to meet me, I say this – you may not know me. But I know you,” the State of New York’s first female Governor Kathy Hochul said in her debut public address after being officially sworn in early Tuesday.
One of her favorite speeches, by Theodore Roosevelt, she said, refers to “the man in the arena, who is marred by dust and sweat and blood, in stark contrast to the timid souls on the sideline. Today, for the first time in New York history, a woman will enter that arena as governor.” (The speech is called The Man In The Arena, from 1910.)
Hochul made her appearance a few hours after Andrew Cuomo had his special International Emmy rescinded. She ran through priorities from getting kids back to school safely, tackling the pandemic, racism, opioid addiction, helping small businesses and struggling cities. It was an introduction and confidence builder, a key first look at their new leader for many New Yorkers at a challenging time and in a state known for its bare-knuckle politics, of which her former boss was a master.
“As I undertake the weighty responsibility before me, know that I have the confidence, the courage and the ability to lead New Yorkers forward and make New York’s women proud. You’ll find me to be direct, straight talking and decisive. I will not be deterred [from being] bloodied and marred in the process of doing what’s right for the people of this great state,” she said.
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The former Lieutenant Governor ascended to replace Cuomo, whose long, tumultuous administration ended last night when he stepped down amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct laid out in a report by New York Attorney General Leticia James. In his farewell address yesterday, Cuomo angrily portrayed himself as the victim of a politically motivated “media frenzy” and said he was leaving only to free the NY state government from distraction.
The state legislature was also in the midst of a broad impeachment investigation.
It is “our time to unleash the power of New York’s women, and to make sure that any barriers to success and opportunity are eradicated once and for all,” Hochul said.
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