NEW YORK - The reaction was swift Tuesday to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's announcement that he would resign as governor of New York effective in 14 days.
From left and right, fellow lawmakers agreed that resignation was the best move following the findings of the attorney general's investigation into allegations by 11 women of sexual harassment by the governor.
"I agree with Governor Cuomo's decision to step down," said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. "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."
"I am sure this is a difficult choice and a sad day for the governor and his family," said former Gov. David Paterson. "It is clearly in the best interests of all New Yorkers that the state government function through this difficult time and address the pressing COVID-19 issue."
For others, the time between the announcement and the actual resignation was too long.
"The next 14 days cannot go by fast enough," said Republican National Committee Spokesperson Rachel Lee. "Good riddance to the worst and most disgraced governor in America."
"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 NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Before he announced his resignation, Cuomo said the report contained "serious issues and flaws that should concern all New Yorkers."
The women had accused Cuomo of subjecting them to inappropriate kisses and touching or inappropriate sexual remarks. The nearly five-month investigation, spearheaded by Attorney General Letitia James and conducted by two outside lawyers who spoke to 179 people, found that the Cuomo administration was a "hostile work environment" and that it was "rife with fear and intimidation."
"Today closes a sad chapter for all of New York, but it’s an important step towards justice," said James. "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."
"Finally. Many of us have known for a long time that Andrew Cuomo was the wrong governor for New York," said NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. "The last several months have plainly revealed that to the world as brave women who endured the governor's abuse have spoken out, and as his administration has attempted to attack and ignore them."
New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "Today is a somber day for the state of New York, but one that demonstrates our ability to build a more accountable system of government. Governor Cuomo’s resignation opens the door to a restorative future. We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the courageous women who came forward and helped pave the way for safer and more inclusive work spaces."
New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said, "Gov. Cuomo abused his power and disgraced his office. His resignation signals a new chapter for our state. This Council is eager to support Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who will become the first woman governor of New York. It is regretful that this historic milestone was achieved under these tragic circumstances, but we are confident that her years of experience serving New Yorkers will help lead us to better days ahead."
"This has been a tragic chapter in our state's history. Governor Cuomo's resignation is the right decision," Assembly Speaker Carle E. Heastier said. "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."
Sen. Chuck Schumer said, "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."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said, "First and foremost, I want to thank the incredibly courageous women who came forward and shared their stories. They are the true public servants here. New York now has a chance to move forward and build a new culture of leadership. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is an exceptional public servant and will be an excellent governor. I look forward to working together to continue serving the people of our great state."