ALBANY – After New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced Representative Antonio Delgado as her Lieutenant Governor Tuesday, many were left wondering how the change would take place, given the predecessor’s arrest for federal corruption charges.
Hochul says Delgado will still serve as a Congressmen until a transition can take place. His name, however, will be on the ballot for the primary in June.
The appointment comes a day after Hochul signed a law that will allow former Lieutenant Governor Benjamin’s name to be removed from the ballot in the state’s upcoming Democratic primary, and potentially allow Delgado to run for the lieutenant governor’s job if he wants it permanently.
This law that allows a political candidate charged in a crime to be removed from a ballot, and replaced with a candidate from the same political party has been criticized by lawmakers statewide, including Senator George Borrello.
“There are two additional candidates for lieutenant governor on the ballot who have adhered to the law, worked to secure the needed signatures and who offer voters viable alternatives,” Borrello said in a statement Tuesday. “There is no justification for allowing party bosses to manipulate the process, just weeks from the primary election. A recent poll showed that a majority of New Yorkers feel the state is going in the wrong direction. Today’s actions will only provide them further confirmation.”
Hochul, however believes, the law allows all a fair chance to vote for who they want in office.
“I say it’s a subversion of Democracy to allow the circumstance where voters are being asked to select someone who’s actually said they’re not running for office. That’s the situation we had. And if you talk to anybody outside this universe, ask someone if they think someone who’s already said they’re not running, they have a legal issue they have to deal with, and that they’re still on the ballot, no one would think that makes sense,” says Hochul.
Despite leaving a competitive district to take the new job, something that could cost Democrats a seat, Delgado says he will still represent those from NY-19 in his new role.
Hochul assured voters that maintaining the majority in the House of Representatives is important, but that we must also have strong leadership at the state level.
“There are so many critically important decisions made at the state level, as we’ve seen with abortion cases and what’s happeing in places like Texas and Oklahoma and even Florida, denegrating the rights of the LGBTQ community,” says Hochul. “So for a long time, the focus has been on Washington. We’re going to continue to work to make sure there’s a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and in the Senate because those are the individuals who deliver to us the billions of dollars that we’ve been able to benefit from.”
Delgado, Hochul goes on to say, has been thoroughly vetted for the position and will continue to work hard for all New Yorkers.
“Pushing for quality, affordable healthcare. Supporting the small businesses, something that’s deeply personal to both of us, and working hard to bring jobs to his district,” says Hochul. “Making sure that our veterans get more than just recognition and a thank you for your service. They have to have the resources to continue and have the support they need whether it’s housing or education or jobs.”
In the end, Delgado believes bringing New Yorkers together is one of his main priorities as Lieutenant Governor.
“This equality is expressed through a concept, one person one vote. The power to right the wrongs of our society ought to lie equally in all of us. And only when it does, can our society be truly free and just,” says Delgado.