New York Jewish leaders recognize a familiar face in Kathy Hochul

As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepares to resign amid an escalating sexual harassment scandal, bringing his 10 years in office to an ignominous end, the spotlight is now turning on his immediate successor, Kathy Hochul, the Democratic lieutenant governor. Hochul, who assumed the office in 2015 following a stint in Congress, will become the first female governor of New York when Cuomo steps down in two weeks, a timeframe he detailed in a surprise announcement on Tuesday.

In his remarks, Cuomo described Hochul, his second-in-command, as a “smart and competent” lawmaker, emphasizing that she will “come up to speed quickly” after he vacates the governor’s mansion.

“It is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers,” Hochul said of Cuomo’s impending departure in a statement on Tuesday. “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.”

The mild-mannered lieutenant governor from Buffalo represents a departure from the personality-driven governorships of such brash and ultimately self-destructive New York City natives as Cuomo and Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in disgrace amid a prostitution scandal in 2008.