While incoming New York Governor Kathy Hochul is playing it close to the vest on who she will name as a replacement to the current Lieutenant Governor position, speculation is growing that Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair and Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte is among the names on the shortlist.
Other names being thrown around as being on the shortlist include Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester) Senators Brian Benjamin (D-Harlem) and Jamal Bailey (D-Bronx) and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. among others.
But Bichotte makes both political and legislative sense, according to one veteran state lawmaker source known for being an excellent political strategist.
“If your name is Kathy Hochul, the woman to beat is [Attorney General] Tish James and to beat her, I would submit you need to pick someone of color – somebody who is Black based on a number of reasons, especially as voters in the primary are more progressive and left-of-center,” said the lawmaker.
“These are some of the reasons Rodneyse looks so interesting. She has managed to jump in and elbow her way in a very tough place – the Brooklyn machine. With Rodneyse you will split the Brooklyn vote, which is Tish James’ base, and Rodneyse is growing. She’s not just Brooklyn. I’m from Queens and I’m dealing with her far more than from people in my own county,” the lawmaker added.
Another city lawmaker said of all the possible lieutenant governor candidates, Bichotte makes sense on both her qualifications and it would make history to have two women as the top of a statewide ticket.
Once Hochul takes office, there will be nine women governors. Additionally, a majority of states without women governors have two men in the top position and there has never been a state where both the governor and lieutenant governor were women.
“She’s [Bichotte] a highly educated black woman with four advanced degrees and is a lifelong progressive and a champion for women, a champion for the state of New York, a champion for the Democratic Party, and having two women at the highest office in the state will make New York look very unique,” said the city lawmaker source.
“I know that Rodneyse has a great relationship with Lieutenant Governor Hochul and I think she would be a great fit,” the lawmaker added.
A Bichotte spokesperson said while there are many qualified candidates, the prospect of an all-woman ticket is thrilling.
“While Rodneyse’s focus remains on her work in the assembly and continuing to build a unified Democratic Party, we are hopeful that New York State will one day lead the nation by carrying a wholly female ticket,” said the spokesperson.