Kathy Hochul was sworn in early on Tuesday as New York’s first female governor, following the resignation of Andrew Cuomo.
Hpchul officially became governor at 12:01 a.m. when she was sworn in by New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore in a private ceremony. Her husband, Bill, held a Bible in the Red Room of the state Capitol.
News outlets noted the moment, but she will participate in a public ceremony on Tuesday morning and then give remarks later in the day.
Hochul has promised to change the culture of the gubernatorial administration. After Cuomo, facing multiple sexual harassment allegations, announced that he would step down, Hochul said at the press conference, “No one will ever describe my administration as a toxic work environment.”
Hochul had been the state’s lieutenant governor, but tried to distance herself from Cuomo. “I think it is pretty clear that the governor and I have not been close, physically or otherwise in terms of much time,” she said.
Hours before he left office, Cuomo gave a speech in which he denounced the coverage of allegations against him as a “media frenzy” and criticized state Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation as politically motivated. “The truth will come out in time. Of that I am confident,” he said.
In a statement after Hochul’s swearing in, James said, “I congratulate Governor Hochul on this incredible accomplishment and wish her well in her new role building on the progress of our great state. I look forward to continuing to work with her and the entire incoming administration.”
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