As Cuomo prepares to step down, others begin looking forward

Aug 10, 2021, 12:35 AM | Updated: 2:32 pm
FILE - Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul speaks at a ribbon cutting ceremony in the Bron...

FILE - Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul speaks at a ribbon cutting ceremony in the Bronx borough of New York, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces possible impeachment following findings from an independent investigation overseen by state Attorney General Letitia James. If the governor resigns or is impeached, Hochul stands poised to become New York's first female governor in a state whose last three male governors have been marred by scandal. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

              FILE - Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul speaks at a ribbon cutting ceremony in the Bronx borough of New York, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces possible impeachment following findings from an independent investigation overseen by state Attorney General Letitia James. If the governor resigns or is impeached, Hochul stands poised to become New York's first female governor in a state whose last three male governors have been marred by scandal. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Reaction to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation came swiftly Tuesday — in many instances as a sense of relief after a damaging investigation by the state Attorney General that corroborated allegations that he sexually harassed at least 11 women and as momentum grew in the Legislature to impeach the three-term Democratic governor.

Here is a look at what people are saying in wake of Cuomo’s resignation:

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KATHY HOCHUL, NEW YORK LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

“I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to step down. It is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers. As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in the line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State’s 57th Governor,” Hochul, who will become the first woman to lead the state of New York, tweeted.

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LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL

“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,” said James, who released the results of an investigation just days before Cuomo announced he would be stepping down.

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LINDSEY BOYLAN, EX-AIDE AND ACCUSER

“From the beginning, I simply asked that the Governor stop his abusive behavior. It became abundantly clear he was unable to do that, instead attacking and blaming victims until the end. It is a tragedy that so many stood by and watched these abuses happen,” Boylan, a former Cuomo aide who was the first woman to publicly accuse the governor of inappropriate behavior, tweeted.

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MARIANN WANG, ACCUSERS’ ATTORNEY

“My clients feel both vindicated and relieved that Cuomo will no longer be in a position of power over anyone. His efforts, through his paid attorney, over the last few days, to gaslight and attack the brave women who came forward, apparently served no purpose. Ms. McGrath and Ms. Limmiatis remain grateful that their voices and experiences were heard and substantiated by the AG’s investigators, and feel solidarity with all women who continue to be abused by men in power. At least today, one of them has faced some consequences,” said Mariann Wang, attorney for Alyssa McGrath and Virginia Limmiatis, who are among the 11 women who accused Cuomo of sexual harassment.

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BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR

“Make no mistake, this is the result of survivors bravely telling their stories. It was past time for Andrew Cuomo to resign and it’s for the good of all New York,” said de Blasio, who has had a longtime strained relationship with the governor.

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PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN:

“I respect the governor’s decision,” Biden said. “I respect the decision he made.”

The president also said he thought Cuomo had “done a helluva job” on infrastructure and voting rights. “That’s why it’s so sad,” Biden said.

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CHUCK SCHUMER, U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER

“First, I want to commend the brave women who stepped forward and courageously told their stories. There is no place for sexual harassment, and today’s announcement by Governor Cuomo to resign was the right decision for the good of the people of New York. I have full confidence that Lt Governor Hochul will establish a professional and capable administration. I have spoken with Lt Governor Hochul and look forward to working together to help the people of New York,” the New York senator said.

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KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, U.S. SENATOR

“Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be an extraordinary governor. She understands the complexities and needs of our state, having been both a congresswoman and having been lieutenant governor for the last several years. She is ready and able and capable of being an extraordinary governor, and I look forward to supporting her and helping her as she turns towards governing our state in a very difficult and challenging time,” the New York senator said.

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ELISE STEFANIK, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

“This resignation is long past overdue. Governor Cuomo needs to be arrested and prosecuted for sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. Governor Cuomo also needs to be arrested and prosecuted for his criminal acts covering up the tragic deaths of our most vulnerable seniors in nursing homes. … The next Governor Kathy Hochul must purge Cuomo’s abusive, corrupt, and criminal political appointees immediately to clean house for the sake of every New Yorker,” said Stefanik, the third-highest ranking Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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CARL HEASTIE, NEW YORK ASSEMBLY SPEAKER

“This has been a tragic chapter in our state’s history. Governor Cuomo’s resignation is the right decision. The brave women who stepped forward were heard. Everyone deserves to work in a harassment free environment. I have spoken with Lieutenant Governor Hochul and I look forward to working with her,” said Heastie, who would have overseen impeachment proceedings.

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JAY JACOBS, NEW YORK DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR

“New York will finally have its first female Governor and we could not be in better hands,” Jacobs said in a statement. “Her experience at all levels of government – Town Board Member, County Clerk, Congresswoman, and Lieutenant Governor, makes her uniquely well-equipped to effectively govern the State at this time,” Jacobs said.

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RACHEL LEE, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE SPOKESPERSON

“The next 14 days cannot go by fast enough. Good riddance to the worst and most disgraced governor in America,” Lee said.

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As Cuomo prepares to step down, others begin looking forward