East End Congressman Lee Zeldin, the presumptive Republican nominee to run for governor of New York next fall, pounced on the news of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation Tuesday, wasting no time lambasting Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, who will fill Mr. Cuomo’s shoes for the remainder of his term when the governor formally steps down in two weeks.
“He knows he would be impeached. He knows he would be voted out of office. Andrew Cuomo broke the law and criminal repercussions must follow, despite him no longer serving in public office,” said Mr. Zeldin in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “From his deadly nursing home order and coverup, to his $5.1 million self-congratulatory book deal and serial harassment and abuse of others, he’s been unfit to continue serving for a long period of time.”
“Unfortunately, for New Yorkers, we’re left with Cuomo’s lieutenant, who empowered this disgusting behavior while Andrew Cuomo cultivated this toxic culture, leaving a trail of victims in its wake,” he added. “Kathy Hochul has been silent scandal after scandal, from fatal nursing home policies and coverups to rampant harassment, intimidation, bullying and abuse. In November of 2022, we must rid New York of the Cuomo-Hochul administration and its disgraceful legacy. We need new leadership in New York to end the attacks on our freedoms, our wallets and our safety, and Save Our State.”
Meanwhile, the East End’s state lawmakers sounded a more conciliatory tone toward Ms. Hochul, a Buffalo native who had served in the U.S. Congress before joining Mr. Cuomo’s ticket when he ran for his second term in 2014.
“This is a sad day for all New Yorkers. Based on the facts and evidence presented, Governor Andrew Cuomo made the right decision today by announcing his resignation,” said South Fork State Assemblyman Fred Thiele. “Today’s announcement sends a clear message to the people of the State of New York that no one is above the law. As I have previously stated, sexual harassment and assault has no place in any work environment, especially not in the highest office of New York State government. I believe the brave women who spoke up and admire their courage. I look forward to working with Kathy Hochul as she assumes the Office of Governor on matters of concern to Long Island and all of New York during these very perilous times.”
“Embattled Governor Cuomo’s announcement of his impending resignation is welcome news to New Yorkers and will save the state time and money in removing him from office through impeachment,” said East End State Senator Anthony Palumbo. “Now, state government must refocus its energies on defeating the COVID Delta variant, working to rebuild New York’s struggling economy and infrastructure and combating the rise in violent crime.
“I look forward to working with New York’s first female Governor, Kathy Hochul, to put this dark episode in state government behind us and work to heal the state as we move forward through these times of great uncertainty,” he added.
“The governor’s resignation is an admission of guilt,” said North Fork State Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio. “Had he responded to the Judiciary Committee and accepted the due process of the Legislature, it would be a different story. However, the Judiciary Committee will continue its investigation into the nursing home cover-up, his book deal and the sexual harassment allegations. It is a sad day for New York with this resignation, but a great day now that we have our first female governor.”