Kathy Hochul, New York's First Female Governor, Wins Democratic Primary: 'This One's for You'

Hochul's victory made her the first woman to secure her party's nomination for governor in New York

Kathy Hochul
New York Governor Kathy Hochul . Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Kathy Hochul — who became New York's first female governor in the state following the resignation of Andrew Cuomo — cruised to victory in her Democratic primary Tuesday, securing 65% of the vote, per the Associated Press.

In a victory speech delivered under a glass ceiling in a New York event space, 63-year-old Hochul attributed her success to "generations of women who constantly had to bang up against that glass ceiling."

"To the women of New York, this one's for you," Hochul said.

Hochul made history last August when she was sworn in as the governor of New York after Cuomo resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment.

Her victory on Tuesday was also historic, as it made her the first woman to secure her party's nomination for governor in New York.

She has occupied an unusual role after spending seven years as Cuomo's lieutenant governor and then stepping in to replace him amid a national scandal.

At the time of her swearing-in, she promised that her administration would have a "1,000 percent culture change" from what an investigation by the New York Attorney General's Office determined was a "hostile" work environment created by Cuomo.

In an earlier interview with PEOPLE, she said she would "encourage and expect anybody to come forward if they see anything that could be construed as inappropriate. I'll make sure people are well familiar with the laws we have in place, because we do have some of the toughest sexual harassment laws in the nation."

"But it's about enforcing them. It's about allowing women to feel safe and welcome in the workplace so they can excel," she added.

Cuomo — who announced his exit from the Governor's Mansion days after New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report which determined he engaged in "unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and making inappropriate comments" with current and former state employees —has since lashed out at the investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct and blamed "cancel culture" for his downfall.

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Hochul will face Republican and staunch Trump ally Rep. Lee Zeldin in the general election come November. Zeldin will face an uphill battle in New York, where a Republican has not been elected governor since 2002.

In her Tuesday victory speech, Hochul noted Zeldin's support for the former president, saying, "We cannot and will not let right-wing extremists set us backwards on all the decades of progress we've made, whether it's a Trump cheerleader running for the governor of the state of New York or Trump's appointed justices on the Supreme Court."

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