Top Lawmakers, Biz Community React to Cuomo Resignation

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Reaction from top government and business officials was swift following Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing today that he will be resigning as governor effective in 14 days.

The resignation comes a week after Attorney General Letitia James released an independent report that found Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women. 

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will step in his place until the end of his term. She will become the first female governor in the State’s history. 

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

James, who some speculate will run for governor next year, said Cuomo’s announcement closes a sad chapter for all of New York and vowed to work with Hochul.

“I thank Governor Cuomo for his contributions to our state. The ascension of our Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, will help New York enter a new day. We must continue to build on the progress already made and improve the lives of New Yorkers in every corner of the state. I know our state is in good hands with Lieutenant Governor Hochul at the helm, and I look forward to continuing to work with her,” said James.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams who narrowly lost to Hochul in the last race for Lieutenant Governor, and who is mulling a run for governor, said Cuomo’s resignation was a long time coming.

“I think it is a little surprising to many folks who actually know the governor, but we all knew it was what needed to happen and should have happened a long time ago. I’m glad he just stopped putting the state through this at this moment in time, but I don’t think that means it’s over,” said Williams, who for many years has been vocal about calling for Cuomo’s resignation. 

“I think there is a lot of stuff going on that I want to make sure that I can do my part to help the state right now and the city right now. We are going to have a new governor coming in I think for the next week or so and trying to focus on that,” he added.

State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a major decision-maker on whether the assembly moves forward to impeach Cuomo, called the scandal a tragic chapter in our state’s history. 

“Governor Cuomo’s resignation is the right decision. The brave women who stepped forward were heard. Everyone deserves to work in a harassment-free environment. I have spoken with Lieutenant Governor Hochul and I look forward to working with her,” said Heastie.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said “The Governor has done the right thing. New York is facing many challenges as we battle the ongoing impact of COVID-19. My team and I stand ready to assist incoming Governor Hochul as we move the state forward.”

New York State Democratic Chairman Jay S. Jacobs threw some early support for Hochul should she decide to run for re-election.

New York will finally have its first female Governor and we could not be in better hands. From assisting her mother run a transitional domestic violence shelter to helping make the property tax cap permanent, Kathy Hochul has always and relentlessly fought for the people of New York.  Her experience at all levels of government – Town Board Member, County Clerk, Congresswoman, and Lieutenant Governor, makes her uniquely well-equipped to effectively govern the State at this time. I am confident that incoming Governor Hochul’s empathy, work ethic and authentic concern for the welfare of its citizens will make her an outstanding Governor for our State,” said Jacobs.

Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt was critical of Cuomo and Democratic leadership. He said he looked forward to working with Hochul and congratulated her on becoming the first female governor of New York. 

“Over the past year, Andrew Cuomo’s credibility completely fell apart. Now, following his overdue resignation, it will never be repaired. The Governor’s pervasive harassment and coverups cast a dark cloud over our State Capitol and took us away from the important work facing this state,” said Ortt.

“Well after the numerous credible allegations were made against Andrew Cuomo, Democrats in both the Senate and Assembly stood by him, normalizing his behavior and enabling him to cling to power. I hope those in the Legislature – and other powerful figures around the state – reflect on their own actions in response to Andrew Cuomo’s disturbing behavior,” he added.

 The vocal support and the deafening silence of many helped keep Andrew Cuomo in power far longer than he deserved,” said Ortt.

On the city level, Mayor Bill de Blasio said “Make no mistake, this is the result of survivors bravely telling their stories. It was past time for Andrew Cuomo to resign and it’s for the good of all New York.”

Brooklyn Borough President and Democratic Nominee for Mayor Eric Adams said Cuomo’s resignation was necessary for New York State to move forward and continue the critical work of recovery. 

“I look forward to working in partnership with Lieutenant Governor Hochul on the key issues affecting our city and region at this pivotal moment,” said Adams.

Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City said Cuomo’s resignation, as he stated, is the best decision for the people of New York. 

“He [Cuomo] has many outstanding accomplishments during more than a decade in office. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is well equipped to transition to the top office and provide positive leadership for the state’s continued battle against COVID-19 and for economic recovery. The business community looks forward to supporting her administration. We also acknowledge and thank Attorney General Letitia James for her diligence and courage in taking on a difficult assignment that brought the matter to closure,” said Wylde.