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Lawmakers, leaders react to Kathy Hochul becoming governor of New York

Tuesday, Gov. Hochul became the first woman to occupy the Executive Mansion in Albany.

ALBANY, N.Y. — Kathy Hochul is now the 57th governor of New York. She is the first woman to ever hold that office, and is the first Western New Yorker to do so since Grover Cleveland.

Here's what some local leaders and lawmakers are saying about it.

In a statement, Sen. Rob Ortt the Senate Republican leader and outspoken critic of former Governor Cuomo said: "Congratulations to our new Governor and Western New York native Kathy Hochul on her inauguration as New York’s 57th Governor, and the first female to hold the office in state history. 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."

State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat, issued this statement saying in part that seeing women rising through the ranks of government is a welcomed trend. 

He also wrote, "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."

WNY Assemblywoman Monica Wallace said in a statement, "As a woman, she will work to change the culture of harassment that has plagued Albany for far too long. As a working mother, she will fight to ensure we adequately fund our schools and that every parent has access to safe and affordable child care. And as a Western New Yorker, she will make sure that the concerns of our region are heard at the highest level of state government."

Republican Assemblyman Steve Hawley who represents the Batavia area said that he is cautiously optimistic about Hochul's administration. He said in a statement, "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.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James issued this statement following Gov. Hochul's midnight swearing in, "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.”