Kathy Hochul: The Fast Facts That May Surprise You

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Kathy Hochul is the 57th, first female Governor of New York State, and the the first governor from outside New York City and its immediate suburbs since 1932, according to The New York Times.

Here are some more facts about Kathy Holchul that may surprise you.

1. She served as a U.S. representative from 2011 to 2013

In May 2011, Kathy Hochul ran in a special election for New York’s 26th congressional district, prompted by Chris Lee’s resignation. She was the Democratic Party and Working Families Party nominee. Despite residing just outside the 26th district, Hochul moved into the district after her victory. 

 The race was characterized by negative TV ads and varying viewpoints on its significance, often linked to the Republicans’ budget proposal and the presence of a third-party candidate, Jack Davis.

Hochul won and served as the district’s representative for two years. 

She was defeated for reelection in 2012 by Chris Collins.

2. She Tried to Have the Carrier Dome in Syracuse Renamed

In the late 1970s, SU made a significant deal with the Carrier Corporation to name the university’s new sports stadium the Carrier Dome, in a $2.75 million agreement. This decision sparked a response from some students, who advocated for an alternative name: Ernie Davis, the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy and a celebrated star halfback for SU.

Hochul, then Kathy Courtney, was among the leaders of the movement to name the stadium after Ernie Davis. The students approached Carrier Corporation with hopes of reaching a compromise, but despite her considerable efforts, the Carrier Dome naming agreement remained unchanged. 

Carrier “rightfully bought the name,” Hochul later admitted. 

3. She Stepped In As Governor After The Cuomo Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Kathy Hochul became the governor of New York on August 24, 2021, following the resignation of Andrew Cuomo. 

Andrew Cuomo, the previous governor, announced his resignation on August 10, 2021, amidst allegations of “repulsive and unlawful” sexual misconduct. According to the state’s constitution, when a governor resigns, the lieutenant governor, in this case, Kathy Hochul, automatically becomes the governor to complete the remaining term.

In November 2022, Hochul won her first full term as governor, defeating Republican Lee Zeldin. 

4. She Signed Legislation For Telehealth Doctors To Provide Abortion Access Across State Lines

On the one-year anniversary of the overturning of Roe v Wade, Hochul signed legislation protecting telehealth doctors who send abortion pills across state lines, allowing them to violate the laws of other states.

Under the legislation, if a state with a ban issued an arrest warrant for a physician from New York who had provided abortion pills to a patient in a state where abortion is illegal, New York can refuse to cooperate. However, if the doctor happens to travel to that state, he or she may be arrested there, according to the New York Times.

5. She Flip-Flopped on Driver’s Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants

Kathy Hochul’s evolution in stance on driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants has been marked by notable changes over the years. In her earlier role as Erie County clerk, back in 2007, she adamantly opposed granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. At that time, she even went so far as to threaten to have them arrested if they applied for licenses.

However, over the years, her position has shifted. In 2018, during the Democratic Party’s nominating convention, when asked about the issuance of licenses if the federal government does not act on immigration reform, Hochul responded, “That’s something that’s being looked at.” 

According to Hochul, “It was a different time and place back in 2006.”

6. She Is Now Blasting Biden For The Immigrant Crisis In New York

In August, Gov. Hochul blasted President Joe Biden for the untenable immigrant crisis in New York, urging him to take executive action and address the surge of migrants flooding into New York. 

In a public appeal, she blamed the Biden administration for the crisis and emphasized that the federal government must resolve the issue since it originated at the federal level. 

Hochul outlined key demands in a letter to the president, including expedited work authorizations, significant federal funding, operation of shelter sites on federal property, and reimbursement for the state’s nearly $22 million National Guard response expenditure. 

She criticized the offered $145 million in federal funds as insufficient and emphasized the need for migrants to work to alleviate financial strain on the state and city. 

New York state has already committed over $1.5 billion, and Hochul projected the crisis would cost New York an additional $4.5 billion next year. 

New York City is currently caring for nearly 60,000 migrants, and over 100,000 migrants have arrived since the start of the crisis in spring 2022, according to the New York Post

Rachel Emmanuel

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