Lawmakers react to Gov. Cuomo’s resignation
Reaction is pouring in after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation on Tuesday. The resignation will take effect in two weeks. Here are some of the statements that have come into our newsroom:
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Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay:
“Stepping down was inevitable, overdue and the only path forward for Andrew Cuomo. The scandals surrounding the governor’s office have generated one of the darkest periods in state history, and it’s fortunate the governor finally came to the realization that his resignation is clearly in the best interest of New York. What’s next for Andrew Cuomo remains to be seen, with multiple investigations on a number of issues still active.
However, as Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul prepares to become the state’s first female governor, I hope that the transition of power is transparent, bipartisan and allows the state to get back to work, free of distractions, for its 20 million residents.”
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan:
“Now is the time to move our state forward. There is still a pandemic infecting hundreds of thousands across the globe each day. As we rebuild our state and help our residents recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19, I stand with Governor Hochul in the challenging days ahead. Governor Hochul is known across the state for her leadership and effectiveness in fighting for all New Yorkers. She listens, she is decisive, and I am proud to call her my friend.
Senator John W. Mannion (D-Geddes) today released the following statement:
New York faces unprecedented challenges and I am fully confident that Governor Kathy Hochul has the skills and experience to immediately take office and lead the state forward.
It will be an honor working with the first woman to lead New York as Governor. As a Syracuse University alumna, I know that she shares my love for Central New York; and throughout her career she has shown herself to be a tenacious and thoughtful advocate for the unique issues we face.
Andrew Cuomo’s decision to resign was the right thing to do, but it was only made necessary by his failure to do the right thing so many times before. It is my hope that the legislature will continue to investigate the outstanding questions surrounding the corruption of his administration, because real change cannot come without full understanding of the problem.
As we look to the future, I stand ready to work with Governor Hochul to restore Central New Yorkers’ trust in state government and create better communities for us all.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli:
“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.”
Senator Brad Hoylman:
“I’m grateful that this sad chapter in New York’s history is coming to an end thanks to the inspirational courage of the women who came forward to share their stories in the Attorney General’s report. I look forward to working with incoming Governor Kathy Hochul to address the severe problems facing our state, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on New York’s most vulnerable. It’s my sincere hope that a change in leadership in Albany will mark a new era of cooperation and collaboration between the Legislature and the Governor for the betterment of all New Yorkers.”
Statement from Senator James Gaughran on Incoming Governor Hochul:
“The past few months have been a very difficult period for the people of New York State. I thank and commend the incredibly brave women who stepped forward and spoke truth to power. No one is above the law.
I have known and worked with Kathy Hochul for years and there is no one better equipped to step in and lead New York as the State continues to navigate the pandemic and heal from these past few months. Her decades of public service across the local, state, and federal levels will serve New Yorkers well and help lead the State through this tumultuous time.
I look forward to working with Incoming Governor Kathy Hochul to move New York forward. Let’s get to work.”
Senator Mike Martucci:
“Governor Cuomo’s resignation is long overdue, but I’m glad he finally came to the obvious realization that all of us came to long ago. The culture of abuse, intimidation, lies and bullying that he brought to state government were among our state’s darkest chapters. Thankfully we are closing the book on that era today. I was among the first legislators to call for his resignation and later impeachment. I did not do so lightly — instead, I simply followed the facts and applied my own moral compass. I wish Lieutenant Governor Hochul well in the transition, and I pledge to work with her along with my colleagues in the Legislature to move our State forward and address the pressing problems we were elected to solve. Finally, I want to recognize the bravery, resilience and strength of all of the Governor’s victims. Today is a day you receive a measure of justice, and our State can look to better and brighter days ahead.”
Albany County Legislature Chairman Andrew Joyce in response to Gov. Cuomo’s resignation:
“It is in the best interest of the State of New York and County of Albany that the Governor has decided to do the right thing by resigning. In the midst of a new phase of the COVID pandemic and the numerous challenges ahead of us, we must focus on the work ahead. Kathy Hochul is a proven, experienced public servant that has served at nearly every level of government and we look forward to her leadership.”
Statement from Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Governor Cuomo’s Resignation:
“Today is a somber day for the state of New York, but one that demonstrates our ability to build a more accountable system of government. Governor Cuomo’s resignation opens the door to a restorative future. We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the courageous women who came forward and helped pave the way for safer and more inclusive work spaces.
Working with Governor Kathy Hochul, the first woman Governor of New York State, we will continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic, rebuild our economy and face our challenges standing together. Governor Hochul is a dedicated leader, and united, we will get the people’s work done.”
A Statement from Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro Following Governor Cuomo’s Resignation
Many may find relief in Andrew Cuomo’s resignation. We would all do well to remember that his downfall came at a tremendous cost. His failings hurt New Yorkers, devastated families and victimized women. The damage he caused will not be soon repaired… but repair we must.
The legacy Andrew Cuomo leaves behind, is one of pervasive sexual misconduct, highest taxes in the nation, a $4 billion broken bridge that bears his family’s name, a deadly nursing home and IDD home coverup, and pay-to-play scandals that have corroded State government and eroded the public’s trust.
After a global pandemic, tragic betrayal, and ten years of Cuomo’s corruption we desperately need honest, skillful leaders to step up, do good and get on to healing this great state.
At this critical moment, New York needs a Governor who can devote her full attention to our shared work. I look forward to working with Governor Kathy Hochul.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:
“First and foremost, I want to thank the incredibly courageous women who came forward and shared their stories. They are the true public servants here. New York now has a chance to move forward and build a new culture of leadership. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is an exceptional public servant and will be an excellent governor. I look forward to working together to continue serving the people of our great state.”
Senator Chuck Schumer:
“First, I want to commend the brave women who stepped forward and courageously told their stories. There is no place for sexual harassment, and today’s announcement by Governor Cuomo to resign was the right decision for the good of the people of New York. I have full confidence that Lt Governor Hochul will establish a professional and capable administration. I have spoken with Lt Governor Hochul and look forward to working together to help the people of New York.
Rep. Elise Stefanik:
“New Yorkers have lived for far too long under the Worst Governor in America’s corrupt and criminal tenure,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “This resignation is long past overdue. Governor Cuomo needs to be arrested and prosecuted for sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. Governor Cuomo also needs to be arrested and prosecuted for his criminal acts covering up the tragic deaths of our most vulnerable seniors in nursing homes.
“In addition, Governor Cuomo and his staff, funded by the taxpayers, must be prosecuted for illegally using state resources to negotiate a multimillion-dollar book deal. There are multiple federal and state laws that the Governor and his staff have broken, and they need to be held accountable. Every New Yorker must know that there is equal justice under the law – no matter if you are the most powerful figure in New York or an everyday New Yorker.
“The systemic culture of criminal corruption, political vengeance, and illegal retaliation under Andrew Cuomo was brushed under the rug for years by Democrats, the media, and the cesspool of Albany. It is a disgraceful chapter in New York’s history.
“The next Governor Kathy Hochul must purge Cuomo’s abusive, corrupt, and criminal political appointees immediately to clean house for the sake of every New Yorker.”
Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt:
Today marks one small step toward restoring honor, decency, and accountability to New York State government. I hope today also brings some measure of justice to the brave women who had the courage to come forward against a powerful and vindictive political figure.
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.
Andrew Cuomo broke the law, lied about it, and shamelessly smeared the women who came forward. His resignation is welcome, but it stops short of the justice his victims and the people of New York deserve. The FBI, the State Attorney General, and other proper authorities must also be allowed to continue their work investigating all of the possible crimes related to our state’s nursing homes crisis and the Governor’s questionable book deal. The Legislature must examine the Cuomo administration’s many failings in public forums as soon as possible so that these abuses of power will never happen under another administration.
We must also acknowledge the fact that the Democrats in the Legislature failed to hold Andrew Cuomo or his administration accountable, despite our repeated calls to do so.
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. The vocal support and the deafening silence of many helped keep Andrew Cuomo in power far longer than he deserved.
In 14 days we will have our first female Governor. I’d like to congratulate Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, a fellow Western New Yorker, on becoming the first woman to assume leadership of this state. My fellow Senators and I look forward to working with Governor Hochul as we continue to tackle the issues of rising crime, our state’s struggling economy, and the resurgence of the COVID-19 virus.
Rep. Paul Tonko:
For months, I have called for an independent investigation of the charges against Governor Cuomo and for him to hand the reins of governance to someone who can focus on the job.
His victims deserve justice and New Yorkers deserve better.
The women who came forward are courageous, and there will undoubtedly be more questions about the path forward for him, but without question this was the right outcome for our state and our people.
While his resignation was long overdue, we can now begin the process of restoring New Yorkers’ trust in the dignity and accountability of our state’s executive leadership.
We cannot afford to lose focus on the urgent tasks before us: saving lives and preventing the worst fallout of the ongoing COVID pandemic as we undertake the hard work of rebuilding our state and nation.
I know we can do this. The people of New York can achieve anything when we work together with common purpose and a spirit of service. Today was months late but it’s a start. Now let’s get back to work.
Senator Sean Ryan:
“This has been a difficult time for our state. When women first came forward alleging inappropriate behavior by the Governor, I joined my colleagues in the Senate Majority in demanding an investigation which would allow all the facts to come to light. When the Attorney General released her report last week, it painted a deeply disturbing picture, and I called upon the Governor to step down. With the behavior outlined in the Attorney General’s report, it is clear the Governor violated his oath of office, and he violated the public trust.
The Governor’s announcement today was a welcome – and necessary – step that will allow our government to begin to recover. It demonstrates that no amount of political influence provides immunity to the consequences of sexual harassment. The women who came forward to tell their stories should be commended. After being victimized, they were repeatedly disrespected by the Governor and his inner circle in attempts to discredit them. As New Yorkers, we should all be grateful to them for their brave actions in the face of what we now know they had to endure.
It is time for our state to move forward. In 14 days, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will become our state’s 57th governor, and the first woman to serve as governor of New York. She has often noted that New York is the birthplace of the women’s rights movement. In just a few days, that ever-evolving historic journey will continue. I have known Kathy Hochul for close to 20 years, and I’ve worked closely with her to ensure Western New York is well-represented in Albany. She is deeply respected by the Western New York delegation, as well as communities across the state. There is no doubt that she has an incredible work ethic, and knows every corner of our state. As she prepares to take office, I join my fellow New Yorkers in wishing her all the best. She needs our support during this difficult moment. I know she is ready to lead, and deliver for the people of New York. I will proudly stand with Governor Hochul as we continue our economic recovery, and work to finally put an end to the pandemic.”
Assem. Didi Barrett:
"Governor Andrew Cuomo did the right thing for the people of New York by stepping down following the devastating findings included in Attorney General Letitia James’ report released just a week ago. This has been a very sad and difficult time, and I hope this is the beginning of a new chapter for New York State: Where women’s voices are heard the first time they speak, where women’s bodies are respected and not objectified, and where power is about lifting people up, not putting them down. I believe that women both view and “do power differently” and now is our time to show the way in our great state. In the last seven years, my friend Kathy Hochul has logged more miles across New York than pretty much anyone in history and I look forward to working with her as she makes history as the first woman to serve as Governor of New York State."
Assem. Jake Ashby:
“The news of Gov. Cuomo’s resignation will hopefully mark the start of our government operating in an effective and bipartisan manner. There is a myriad of important issues currently facing our state, including the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, our crumbling and aged infrastructure, the rampant lawlessness and marked disrespect for law enforcement and the eviction moratorium which has devastated landlords and has seemingly created a housing bubble that our state is preparing to pop.
“Another important issue facing our state is the need for the Assembly to formally impeach Gov. Andrew Cuomo. My office has received hundreds of calls and emails expressing their support for the governor being impeached. It is our duty as state legislators to remain steadfast in our push to bring forth the resolution to impeach Gov. Cuomo. New Yorkers have placed their trust in us to take action and we need to send the message that actions such as repeated sexual harassment, corrupt book deals and issuing financially and politically motivated orders that caused the death of thousands of seniors will not be tolerated in the state of New York.”
Assem. Charles Lavine:
Assemblymember Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) issued the following statement on the resignation of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo:
These have been deeply troubling times for New Yorkers. As New York State Assembly speaker Carl E. Heastie has said, “this has been a tragic chapter in our state’s history.”
Speaking ‘truth to power’ is never an easy pursuit. As we begin to move forward, let us recognize the courage, strength and integrity of the women who dared to come forward. Moreover, let us commit ourselves to continuing the battle for the inalienable rights of our sisters and daughters in New York and in every other state.
I have worked with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul for many years and have the greatest faith in her ability to lead and heal the people of our State.
Senator Peter Oberacker:
“Andrew Cuomo’s long-awaited departure opens the door for a new beginning in New York State.
“While we can now turn to rebuilding our state, it does not mean the end of multiple investigations into the departing governor and his retaliatory enablers. The brave women who stepped forward to tell their stories deserve justice, along with those who lost their lives needlessly due to the governor’s irresponsible COVID nursing home directive.
“It is also important to remember that Albany’s one-party leadership – that propped up the governor, ushered in a devastating surge in crime, and hiked taxes to an all-time high – remains in place.
“The door is open for a new beginning, and it is time to refocus our efforts on boosting our small businesses, improving the lives of individuals and families, and answering to those who elected us – that’s what New Yorkers deserve.”
Senator Shelley Mayer:
"Governor Cuomo made the right decision in the best interest of the people of
New York today when he announced his resignation. New York State remains in a difficult and perilous moment given the ongoing challenges of COVID and economic recovery. I look forward to working closely with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul as she takes leadership of our state and I have full confidence in her."
Assem. Carrie Woerner:
“I am relieved as are most other New Yorkers that Andrew Cuomo announced he is resigning the office of Governor. The events of the past week as we learned the contents and conclusions of the Attorney General’s report on allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation have been dismaying and disappointing. His responses to the report have been utterly tone deaf to the significance and consequence of his actions to women in his employ and to women generally and further demonstrated his inability to lead this state. I stand in admiration of all the courageous women who spoke the plain truth knowing they would likely experience all kinds of consequences for actions that were no fault of their own. I hope the events of today give them some peace. I look forward to working with Kathy Hochul on behalf of my constituents and for the people of this state.”
Sen. Michelle Hinchey:
State Senator Michelle Hinchey (SD-46) issued the following statement today following the announcement that Governor Andrew Cuomo will resign:
“The Governor’s resignation was a necessary step toward restoring trust, transparency, and accountability in our state government and represents a historic shift in New York State. This moment would not be possible without the brave women who shared their stories in the face of fear, retribution and scare tactics. We owe them a tremendous amount of gratitude, for, without their courage, we would not be here today.
At this critical moment, we need leaders who are solely focused on rebuilding our state and improving the lives of people and families everywhere.
While we continue to face many challenges, I look forward to working with Kathy Hochul, a fellow upstate woman, who will make history, and more importantly, be a strong partner in delivering meaningful results for our communities.”
Assem. John McDonald:
“Governor Cuomo’s decision to resign is the right thing to do for New Yorkers. There is no doubt he loves New York and this action demonstrates it the best.
The transition for the next 14 days will be critical. I am fully confident that New York will move forward under the leadership of our first Woman Governor Kathy Hochul.”
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy:
“I have full confidence in Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who will become New York’s first female Governor. She is deeply familiar with the needs of communities across this state, and I look forward to working with her to keep Schenectady and our state moving forward.”