Irish American Kathy Hochul is next in line as Governor Andrew Cuomo faces potential impeachment and calls to resign.
Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women from 2013 through 2020, an independent investigation launched by the Attorney General of New York Letitia James amid several accusations found.
The sexual harassment, which included unwanted and inappropriate groping, kissing, hugging, and comments, in addition to actions by the Executive Chamber, violated multiple state and federal laws, as well as the Executive Chamber’s own written policies.
In response to the findings of the investigation which were released on August 3, Cuomo said "the facts are much different than what has been portrayed."
"I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances," Cuomo said in his address the same day the investigation's findings were published.
Governor Cuomo Responds to Independent Reviewer Report: https://t.co/sgPuPEDXRU— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 3, 2021
Despite his denials and apologies, Cuomo is facing the threat of impeachment as well as calls to resign, including from fellow Democrats President Joe Biden, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and New York Senator Chuck Schumer.
Hochul, the Lieutenant Governor of New York since 2015, has not publicly called upon Cuomo to resign. Instead, she said that “no one is above the law” and that, as next in line for the Governor’s seat, “it would not be appropriate to comment further on the process at this moment.”
No one is above the law. Under the New York Constitution, the Assembly will now determine the next steps.
Because Lieutenant Governors stand next in the line of succession, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the process at this moment. 2/2— Kathy Hochul (@LtGovHochulNY) August 3, 2021
Should she replace Cuomo, Hochul would make history becoming the first female governor of the state of New York.
She would also be the first Irish American governor of the state since Hugh Carey, who, along with Senator Edward Kennedy, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Speaker Tip O'Neill - the so-called Four Horsemen - led efforts to end violence and promote peace in Northern Ireland.
Hochul’s grandparents both emigrated from Co Kerry to the US and met in Chicago. The two married and ultimately settled in Buffalo, New York, where they raised their family. They also help start the Buffalo Irish Center, which remains a bastion of Irish and Irish American culture in upstate New York today.
One of six children born to John P. "Jack" Courtney and Pat Courtney in Buffalo, Kathleen 'Kathy' Mary Hochul (née Courtney) frequently points to her Irish roots in the scope of her political career.
This past St. Patrick's Day, Hochul, who has previously visited Ireland, said in a video: "Just over 100 years ago, my father's parents fled a life that was surely destined for poverty in Co Kerry."
She added: "I will say like all good Irishmen and Irishwomen, I love a good fight, especially if it's for the people of my beloved state.
"We may have poetry in hearts, but we are scrappy. We know how to survive adversity. We never back down from a battle for what is right, even against all the odds.
"And we love the underdog - because the Irish have been underestimated throughout our history.
"I think that pretty much sums up what St. Patrick's Day is all about. Celebrating the Irish American spirit of toughness, perseverance, resiliency, but always with a twinkle in the eye in search of the brighter days and greener pastures that surely lie ahead.
"Those are Irish values, those are American values."
You can watch Irish American Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul's St. Patrick's Day address here:
A Saint Patrick's Day message from Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul
Over 100 years ago, my father’s parents fled County Kerry in Ireland to a brighter future in the U.S. Little did they know, their granddaughter would become the highest-ranking Irish-American elected official in NYS. The Irish-American spirit perseveres today. Wishing everyone a safe & happy #StPatricksDayPosted by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday, March 16, 2021