2 women run for governor in post-Cuomo NY

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2 women run for governor in post-Cuomo NY

New York has two women who are running for governor in the wake Andrew Cuomo's August resignation amid sexual harassment allegations.

Next year's race for governor will see both candidates -- Governor Kathy Hochul and her newly declared challenger, state Attorney General Letitia James. Kathy Hochul and Letitia James, her newly elected challenger, played key roles in Cuomo's resignation. They also had their own history of breaking down barriers and finding political opportunities after misbehaving male politicians.

James, whose office investigated allegations against Cuomo's character, officially entered the gubernatorial contest Friday. This makes her the strongest candidate for Hochul, a fellow Democrat, who is trying to win the office after she took over for Cuomo.

Both would be the first woman to be elected to a position that men held for 240 years before Cuomo resigned.

James, 63 years old, is New York's first female elected attorney general. She also happens to be the first Black person to hold the position. James was a frequent critic of President Donald Trump's administration.

"I have sued the Trump administration 76 time. "But who's counting?" James stated Friday in her campaign kickoff video, giving a playful shrug as she looked into camera.

Brooklyn progressive, who has also taken legal action against the National Rifle Association. However, her office's investigation into Cuomo's allegations had the greatest impact on her political future.

Her office issued a comprehensive report concluding that the 11 women who had accused Cuomoof sexual harassment were credible. Cuomo denied mistreating women but resigned because he wanted to keep the state from turmoil.

Cuomo is out of New York's running for the presidency -- at least temporarily -- and a lot of rising Democrats are looking to next year's race with James and Hochul leading.

Jumaane Williams, New York City's Public Advocate, and Bill de Blasio, the New York City Mayor, have both indicated that they are open to running. Two other possible Democratic candidates are from Long Island: Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone, and U.S. Rep. Thomas Suozzi who lives in Nassau County.

Hochul, Cuomo’s lieutenant governor had stressed that her duties kept her apart from him. The 63-year old Hochul quickly set a new tone for her former running mate by promising transparency and ethics reforms after she was sworn in to the governor's mansion.

Friday's historic role was acknowledged by both women.

Hochul spoke to Democratic power-players at a Brooklyn breakfast and said that she felt the "weight of history" on her shoulders so that a woman can govern New York "with strength. With heart. And passion."

Hochul stated, "When I'm done w/my terms, no one will ever question a woman's ability to hold the highest office here in this state or elsewhere in the land."

James made a fundraising appeal to her supporters shortly after her announcement. She stated that too many people had tried to write her off and count her out as a statistic because she was Black growing up in Brooklyn.

She said, "Then I made History by becoming the first Black woman elected to a New York State statewide office - but the truth of the matter is that that distinction is just a historical footnote if it doesn't do any good for the office."

One nomination would be enough to make history for either party. Kelly Dittmar is the director of research at Rutgers University's Center for American Women and Politics. She said that no major party in New York has ever supported a woman for governor.

Only 45 women served as governors of the United States, nine of which are currently in office. None of them were Black.

James is one six Black women who are running for office in 2022. This breaks the 2018 record. Stacey Abrams, a Georgia Democrat, became the first Black woman to be nominated for governor by a major party that year.

Dittmar stated, "One of the fun games I like to play is like, "Here's what number of women have served in government, and here's how many serve today." "Governor is just one of those spots where women are still underrepresented. This is even more true when you consider women who aren't white.

Hochul and James didn't just break barriers; they also picked up the pieces after being appointed to replace bad-mannered male politicians.

Hochul was elected to Congress in a special election held in 2011. Hochul won the seat after Republican Rep. Chris Lee quit in disgrace after revealing online his shirtless photos of a wife he had sent to him. Hochul lost her 2012 reelection bid and Cuomo elected her to be his running mate in 2014. He won another term.

After Eric Schneiderman abruptly resigned amid accusations of him abusing women, James, the then-New York City's ombudsman, was elected to a four-way Democratic primary.

James stated that she was considering a run for mayor after the seat became available. She also said that she initially was reluctant to run, even though fellow Democrats were putting her name forward as a candidate.

Cuomo, James' most powerful political ally, was her supporter when she ran. She also headed a fundraiser.

As Hochul, James' relationship to Cuomo has soured.

James' report was criticized by the former governor as biased and inaccurate. James dismissed the accusation that James' investigation was motivated by politics and said Cuomo should be held responsible for his conduct.

James made the announcement after Cuomo was charged in Albany with groping a woman in December 2020.

Rita Glavin (Cuomo's lawyer) stated in a statement, that Cuomo never assaulted anyone.

He is due to appear in court Nov. 17th to answer the charge.

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