New York leaders welcome Gov. Hochul

Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul Governor Kathy Hochul delivers an address Aug. 24 to New Yorkers from the Red Room at the State Capitol in Albany.

Leaders throughout New york sent out congratulatory messages to Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday, some just minutes after she became the state’s first female governor at 12:01 a.m.

The messages came from both sides of the political aisle, with some such as state Sen. Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, and Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, extending an olive branch. while others were not as gushing.

Here’s a sample of reactions from Albany (some have been edited for length):

n SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER ROB ORTT, R-North Tonawanda: “Congratulations to our new Governor and Western New York native Kathy Hochul on her inauguration ... I am looking forward to working with this new administration to try to improve the lives of New Yorkers all across the state.

“Governor Hochul takes office in the face of many challenges. It is my hope that she will work with elected leaders in both parties to address pressing issues like the pandemic, rising crime, continued outmigration and other threats to the future of our state. Saving our state will require input from across the political spectrum, not just the most radical voices from one region of our state.”

n ASSEMBLYMAN STEVE HAWLEY, R-Batavia: “By swearing in a new governor, I remain hopeful we can use this moment as an opportunity to correct the course set by our former executive. Given her experience in local and county government, I hope that her tenure will be free of the burdensome mandates on small businesses, schools, places of worship, and other institutions which characterized her predecessor’s style of leadership and were so harmful to the people of our state.”

n SENATOR PATRICK M. GALLIVAN, R-Elma: “I congratulate Governor Hochul and wish her and her administration well as it takes on the many challenges facing our state.

“Not only is she New York’s first female governor, she is the first person from Western New York to hold the office in more than 100 years. I anticipate she will bring a different tenor and tone to the Executive Office, along with a willingness to work with members of the legislature and others in state government.

“I believe she will respect the role of the legislature and our system of checks and balances as outlined in the State Constitution. Even though we may disagree on some issues, I look forward to working with her to make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

n SENATOR EDWARD A. RATH III, R-Amherst: Albany, NY – “Congratulations to Western New York native and 57th Governor of New York State, Kathy Hochul. I look forward to working with her and her administration to address the challenges facing our state.

“As a western New Yorker, she knows firsthand, that too many residents and businesses feel as though their voice isn’t heard nor respected in Albany and as if upstate is simply an afterthought to powerful New York City interests and their agenda.

“Governor Hochul has a historic opportunity to reimagine state government. The priorities of every region must be respected, regardless of their political representation. Our challenges are too great to be dictated by petty partisan politics. The stakes are too large. Our infrastructure, public safety, and economic opportunity should not be used as bargaining chips.

“As Governor Hochul’s administration begins, I stand ready to work with her to achieve our common goals and improve the lives of residents across Western New York and the entire state.”

n ASSEMBLY SPEAKER CARL HEASTIE: “Today, we have sworn in the first woman to serve as governor of New York. From State Senate majority leader to state attorney general to vice president of the United States, we continue to see women rise through the ranks of government, and it is a welcome trend.

“Governor Kathy Hochul has served at every level of government and is a qualified and dedicated public servant. Over the course of her time in public service, she has visited every corner of this state and developed strong relationships with local representatives.

“My colleagues and I know that our state is facing many significant challenges, and we are prepared to partner with Governor Hochul in addressing them. We look forward to working with her to ensure our children can safely return to school, New Yorkers are able to stay in their homes, small businesses can thrive again, our work to end to the scourge of gun violence continues and to fight the resurgence of COVID-19 to finally put this pandemic behind us.

“We stand ready to work with Governor Hochul to continue moving New York forward.”

n SUNY BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND CHANCELLOR JIM MALATRAS: “...Throughout her career in public service, Kathy Hochul has been a strong and fierce advocate for higher education and how access and opportunity to quality public education can provide the pathway needed for success — especially meeting workforce demands and breaking down barriers for students in need of quality child care. As Lt. Governor, she brought the same passion and commitment to many of our campuses and routinely inspired our leadership, staff, and countless students with every visit. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Governor Hochul as we work together to educate and train the next generation of highly skilled workers and researchers, and strengthen our 64 SUNY campuses with a unified vision of access, affordability, equity, and meeting the educational and social needs of the people of New York.”

n ATTORNEY GENERAL LETITAI JAMES: “Today is a historic day for New Yorkers with the swearing in of our first female governor, Kathy Hochul. 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.”

n DUTCHESS COUNTY EXECUTIVE MARCUS J. MOLINARO: “...Given the culture of intimidation which permeated the last administration, Gov. Hochul has inherited an enormous task of rebuilding confidence in a broken state government. My colleagues in service throughout New York and I look forward to working with the governor to re-establish a competent, capable and functioning state government, restore faith in the Executive Branch and reform a government that too often ignores the people while empowering the powerful and well-connected. We look forward to bringing about a brighter tomorrow for all residents.”

n CHANCELLOR LESTER W. YOUNG, JR., THE BOARD OF REGENTS AND STATE EDUCATION COMMISSIONER BETTY A. ROSA: “It is with confidence and optimism for the future of New York that we welcome Governor Kathy Hochul as she takes over the executive office. Governor Hochul has made it abundantly clear that New York’s children are a priority, taking time during her transition to personally visit schools and discuss the critical needs of our students, families and educators in this uncertain time.

“...We are committed to creating and sustaining safe, nurturing, and engaging learning environments for all students and are confident that Governor Hochul will be a strong partner in our efforts.”

n NEW YORK CONSERVATIVE PARTY CHAIRMAN GERARD KASSAR: “The New York State Conservative Party congratulates Gov. Kathy Hochul on her swearing in today. We wish her well as New York’s 57th governor, even as we represent a sharply divergent political viewpoint.

“We were struck, however, by the Governor’s response to a reporter’s question this morning asking Mrs. Hochul to identify the thing she most hopes to accomplish in Albany. ‘I want people to believe in government again,’ she said, as though she had nothing to do with the corrupt administration that lost the faith of New Yorkers.

“Not for nothing, as we say in Brooklyn, but Governor Hochul has been Andrew Cuomo’s chief lieutenant in Albany since 2015. To suggest that she is in no part responsible for that loss of faith is disingenuous in the extreme.

“Governor Hochul may have been better served by admitting her own culpability in the corruption that went on in Albany these past six years, and asking New Yorkers for forgiveness. Or is that too much for us to expect?”

n JASMINE GRIPPER OF ALLIANCE FOR QUALITY EDUCATION, a group that fights for equal funding among the state’s more than 700 school districts: “Today, Governor Kathy Hochul has the opportunity to turn the page on the corruption and negligence of the Cuomo administration and show with real action, on her first day, that she will prioritize the families and children of our state. It is going to take more than words for Governor Hochul to distance herself from the harm of the previous administration.”

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