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Rochester-Area Leaders React to Resignation of Gov. Cuomo

Staff report

Andrew Cuomo resigned as governor of New York, effective Aug. 24, 2021. File photo

Andrew Cuomo announced Aug. 10 that he was resigning as governor, effective Aug. 24, in the aftermath of an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment. He will be succeeded by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Here is reaction from Rochester-area and state officials.

State Sen. Samra Brouk:

The governor has harmed many women — women who were working in service of the (g)reat State of New York and the public. I am relieved to hear that Andrew Cuomo has resigned from the executive chamber, but I remain concerned about the extensive network of allies who worked to help him cover and spin his acts, and that the toxic work environment he fostered could persist in his absence. We must work to ensure the hostile, unlawful conduct that occurred in the executive chamber is not occurring in any workplace, let alone in state government.

I thank the women who came forward and acknowledge the many who could not for their own personal reasons.

Kathy Hochul has time and again demonstrated a passionate, lifelong commitment to the success of women, our region and our great state. It will be a new opportunity to work on the issues most pressing to New York State with a fellow Western New Yorker heading the executive chamber, and I look forward to what we’ll accomplish for our (s)tate and the 55th District.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who investigated alleged sexual harassment by Cuomo:

“Today closes a sad chapter for all of New York, but it’s an important step towards justice.

“I thank Governor Cuomo for his contributions to our state. The ascension of our Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, will help New York enter a new day. We must continue to build on the progress already made and improve the lives of New Yorkers in every corner of the state. I know our state is in good hands with Lieutenant Governor Hochul at the helm, and I look forward to continuing to work with her.”

Assemblymember Harry Bronson:

I thank the women who courageously came forward. We believed them and took steps to hold the Governor accountable for his abuse and harassment. The Governor’s resignation is a necessary first step for New York to start healing. This will allow our state to move forward on the urgent issues that are major concerns for our families; the Delta variant, getting our children back in the classroom, and ensuring our families are able to get back to work in a healthy and safe environment.

I look forward to working with Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, who I know is a consummate professional capable of leading our state out of this crisis. As our first woman Governor and someone from upstate New York, I am confident our families will be well served under her leadership.

Bob Duffy, former lieutenant governor, former Rochester mayor and police chief, and current CEO of Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce:

An expectation of leadership is to take responsibility for one’s actions. Resignation is a personal decision, and I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to resign. This decision will hopefully prevent further trauma for the courageous women who came forward and it allows State government to get on with the business of serving New Yorkers.

I offer my full support to incoming Governor Kathy Hochul. Kathy is a friend, a colleague, and a remarkable representative of the people of the State of New York. She will serve in the same way she has for her entire career in public service: with honor, tenacity, compassion, and dignity.

Monroe County Democratic Chair Zach King:

I thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his decades of service to New York State, and for putting the State first and resigning his office.

I also want to express my complete confidence in Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul as she prepares to step into her role as New York’s 57th Governor, and the first woman to hold the office. Since her first election to public office in 1994, Lieutenant Governor Hochul has faithfully put the needs of New Yorkers first, has been a champion for Western NY and the Finger Lakes, and is aptly equipped to serve our State in this moment. While the circumstances are unfortunate, I congratulate incoming Governor Hochul I speak for all Monroe County Democrats in saying we are excited for the opportunity to work alongside you.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello:

Governor Cuomo’s decision to step down today is the right thing to do, particularly given the seriousness of the findings in the attorney general’s report. The governor had lost the confidence of the people in the state of New York and his partners in government. And this move and action today allows the state to move forward.

I am grateful for the courageous women who came forward to expose this behavior and to ensure that a person in a position of extraordinary power was held accountable.

I have known Lt. Gov. Hochul for a decade now and have full faith and confidence in her ability to lead our state forward. Once sworn in, she will become the first woman to serve as governor — the highest office in New York state. Lt. Gov. Hochul is a thoughtful leader who knows the issues that impact upstate New York very well. She has served at every level of government from local government county government, state government, and the federal government. And I look forward to working with her on behalf of all of Monroe County’s residents.

Monroe County Legislature Republican Majority Leader Steve Brew:

Too little, too late. After months of resounding calls for his resignation, Governor Cuomo has finally decided to do right by the people of New York State and step down. The damage caused by Governor Cuomo and his allies has hurt all New Yorkers and will have severe implications into the future.

From grave sexual harassment charges to blatant deceit of the public to repeated criminal activity; Governor Cuomo has sown seeds of mistrust among the public. As we look ahead past the Governor’s final days in office, New Yorkers must come together to recover from the heavy-handed, crooked policies we’ve faced for over a decade.

It’s time for New York State to break the cycle of scandal, corruption, and greed. I hope Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul can steer New York State in a new direction and discontinue Governor Andrew Cuomo’s dangerous and dishonest policies.”