Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will become the first woman governor of New York after Andrew Cuomo resigned Tuesday over sexual harassment allegations from at least 11 women. Cuomo said he will resign in 14 days.

In a brief statement, Hochul, a Democrat and former congresswoman, called Cuomo’s resignation “the right thing to do, and in the best interests of New Yorkers."

“As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State’s 57th governor,” she said. 

Cuomo, who ran alongside Hochul in 2014 and 2018, praised Hochul in his press conference.

“Kathy Hochul, my lieutenant governor, is smart and competent,” Cuomo said. “This transition must be seamless. We have a lot going on. I’m very worried about the Delta variant, and so should you be, but she can come up to speed quickly.”

Hochul, 62, has mostly remained out of the media spotlight of New York politics.

The New York Times noted that Hochul "established deep reservoirs of political good will, spending much of her tenure on the road, highlighting the administration’s agenda and engaging in extensive on-the-ground politicking."

Hochul drew attention in 2011 when she won a special election for a House seat. The victory received national attention because the district was heavily Republican. 

She was born in Buffalo, New York, to a Catholic family and graduated from Syracuse University in 1980. She received a law degree at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

At Syracuse, she successfully lobbied the university to divest from apartheid in South Africa.