AN IRISH-AMERICAN politician is to become New York's first-ever female governor.
Democrat Kathy Hochul, the former Lieutenant Governor of New York State, is set to replace Andrew Cuomo after he resigned in disgrace following an inquiry which found he had sexually harassed multiple women, allegations he denies.
Following Cuomo's announcement that he would be stepping down after severe public pressure-- including from his successor-- Ms Hochul said she agreed with his decision, as "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," she wrote on social media.
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.
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) August 10, 2021
She later promised to "fight like hell for [New Yorkers] every single day".
"I will travel the state to meet you, to listen to you and assure you that I’ve got your back."
Ms Hochul will become New York State's first-ever female Governor from 24 August, and joins a large number of Irish-Americans in power in the United States.
One of six children, Ms Hochul has strong links to Ireland, with her grandparents hailing from County Kerry, and was raised Catholic, attending the Catholic University Columbus School of Law where she received a Juris Doctor in 1984 following her Bachelor of Arts degree from Syracuse University.
Despite her Catholic upbringing, Ms Hochul, like US President Joe Biden, is pro-choice, and has fought for women's rights throughout her political career, including establishing the Kathleen Mary House for victims of domestic violence in 2006, and leading the anti-sexual harassment campaign 'Enough is Enough', ironically launched by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The Irish-American says she was unaware of Mr Cuomo's alleged behaviour towards women, and had called for his resignation before he stepped down after the allegations came to light.
"The Attorney General’s investigation has documented repulsive and unlawful behavior by the Governor towards multiple women," she wrote in a statement at the time.
"I believe these brave women and admire their courage coming forward.