Kathy Hochul (D) early Tuesday morning was sworn in as New York's first female governor during a brief private ceremony at the New York State Capitol, The Associated Press reported.
The former New York lieutenant governor takes over for now-former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) just two weeks after his resignation amid sexual harassment allegations.
Hochul told a local news station that she understood “the weight of responsibility” that comes with her new role.
“I’ll tell New Yorkers I’m up to the task," she said. "And I’m really proud to be able to serve as their governor and I won’t let them down."
The new governor is set to have a ceremonial swearing-in event at the Capitol on Tuesday morning and plans to meet with legislative leaders later in the day. She will also address the public at 3 p.m., the AP reported.
Cuomo, who left office at midnight, released a recorded farewell message in which he defended his term as governor and pointed to the attorney general's report that prompted calls for his resignation as ”a political firecracker on an explosive topic.”
"And it did work," he said.
Cuomo also further marked his achievements while in office, noting his fight to curb COVID-19 infections, raising the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour and legalizing same-sex marriage.
“I tried my best to deliver for you,” Cuomo said, according to the AP.
Hochul has reportedly said that she did not work closely with the previous governor and vowed to promote a positive workplace environment.
“I have a different approach to governing,” Hochul said Wednesday in Queens. “I get the job done because I don’t have time for distractions, particularly coming into this position.”
New York's state Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs lauded Hochul as “formidable” and shared his hope for her term as governor, the AP noted.
“She’s very experienced and I think she’ll be a refreshing and exciting new governor,” he said.