Meet Kathy Hochul, New York’s Next Governor with a ‘Progressive Record’

New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is set to take the reigns as the Empire State’s chief executive in 11 days after disgraced New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced his resignation following an investigation that found he sexually harassed multiple women.

On a minimum wage increase:

During an appearance at the National Constitution Center’s 100th anniversary celebration of the 19th amendment, which included a forum titled “Women Leading Change: Forum Voting Rights Onward,” Hochul insisted “there should be a higher minimum wage.”

“There should be a higher minimum wage,” Hochul said. “We have a $15 minimum wage in the state of New York. We lift so many people out of poverty by that one move, the majority of whom are women.”

On equal rights for women:

During a 2016 forum titled “LEADERSHIP: Creating the Future for Women, Leveraging 2020 to Change the Game,” Hochul claimed, under Cuomo’s leadership at the time that he was “committed to women’s issues,” saying the women in the state should not take his leadership “for granted.” Under Cuomo’s guidance, Hochul also touted New York laws designed to protect women, saying the state has the “toughest laws on sexual assault in the nation, under this governor.”

The following year, while delivering the keynote address at City & State’s “New York State of Women” 2017 event, Hochul furthered her appreciation for Cuomo’s leadership regarding women’s rights and access to abortion, saying many would believe Cuomo is a “woman himself.”

“Our fight for reproductive health, you would think your governor was a woman himself,” Hochul said as she gushed over Cuomo. “Seriously. … He talks about issues that women talk about all the time as well.”

Hochul also started that she believes “money is a barrier to women,” saying a lot of women have “female friends, but they don’t control the pocketbook … they don’t have the resources that the men do.”

Hochul has also claimed that women struggle more in society with asking for money, particularly when campaigning for certain positions. “Women are more uncomfortable — I hate to admit this — asking for money to do the fundraising, so this is one of the barriers,” she said in 2016.

On race in America:

According to the 2020 National Constitution Center’s discussion with Hochul, her parents, John and Patricia Courtney, worked to integrate her “lily white neighborhood” and celebrated the fact that she and her family “had African Americans on our front porch.”

In June of 2020, following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, Hochul took to Twitter to lend her support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I realize that my voice is not the important one right now,” Hochul wrote in the tweet. “I’m here to listen, and will use my platform to help promote other voices speaking up against systematic racism and injustice. Black lives matter.”

“We need more empathy and compassion, and that starts with listening to and hearing one another,” she added.

On Planned Parenthood and abortion:

In a 2015 video ad from Planned Parenthood, Hochul said, “I am proud to stand with Planned Parenthood,” claiming the “organization has provided quality, confidential healthcare to millions of women across this country.” Hochul also said that Americans should “ensure that service continues,” defending the organization from the backlash it faces.

Hochul has often voiced her support for women seeking to terminate their pregnancies. In the same video from Planned Parenthood, an organization she received an endorsement from in 2018, Hochul said support for the organization is imperative so that “every woman can have the right to choose.”

During her 2017 keynote address at the “New York State of Women” event, Hochul reiterated her support for Planned Parenthood, saying the state was “doubling down in our own state to protect reproductive rights, protect Planned Parenthood, and protect access to good healthcare.”

Other issues:

During a September 2019 interview with WETM 18, Hochul stated her support for restrictions on flavored e-cigarettes, which have been popularized in America. According to Hochul, e-cigarettes created a “cataclysmic effect” in New York and are “detrimental to children” who “should not be inhaling these toxic vapors.”

Hochul, a longtime supporter of former President Barack Obama, said she stood with him “when he needed my vote to make sure we could keep the Affordable Care Act.”

Hochul also touted her “progressive record” in a 2014 campaign video for lieutenant governor, voicing support for the SAFE Act, which included an “assault weapons” ban, a gun registration scheme, a “high capacity” magazine ban, expanded background checks, and the DREAM Act, which gives residency and rights to young illegal aliens living in America. “I never backed down from our core, Democratic values,” Hochul said in the clip. “Pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, and pro-worker values.”

Following Cuomo’s resignation announcement, Hochul issued a tweet, announcing her support for his decision.

“I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to step down,” Hochul wrote. “It is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers.”

“As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in the line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State’s 57th Governor,” she added.

Hochul, one of six children, is married to Bill Hochul, a lawyer who served as United States attorney for the Western District of New York from 2010 to 2016. She also has two adult children, both of whom she claimed last year “have a strong social conscience” and are “part of the marches in Washington,” specifically for “climate change” and “gun issues.”

Follow Kyle on Twitter @RealKyleMorris and Facebook.

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