Andrew Cuomo's Resignation
Andrew Cuomo, once considered one of the most promising officials within the Democratic Party, has recently resigned from his position as governor of New York due to a plethora of sexual harassment allegations. One such allegation has been made by Brittany Commisso, his former executive assistant. Commisso claimed that he had groped her multiple times. Another such allegation has come from Lindsey Boylan, a former aide to the governor. Boylan revealed she resigned in 2018 due to an incident where Cuomo kissed her during a meeting without her consent.
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Additional incidents include comments and comparisons to a former girlfriend. Cuomo has since denied these allegations, describing these incidents as misunderstandings. According to the former governor, these allegations resulted from his Italian heritage and culture that he had grown up with-- kisses on the cheeks and frequent displays of affection.
These allegations have since flipped the public perception of Cuomo. Just a couple of months ago, he was praised by New Yorkers during the initial COVID-19 spread. He was lauded for his visibility in keeping New Yorkers to date with the pandemic. He likely would have been reelected next year if not for the sudden revelations about his behavior towards women.
The resignation was seen as a surprise to many, as Cuomo was adamant in keeping his position as governor. In his comments, he stated he had decided to resign to prevent disrupting the functioning of the state. However, his comments also seem to shift blame from himself. Cuomo proclaimed, ‘’The situation is not about facts, the truth, thoughtful analysis, about how do we make the system better. This is about politics and our political system today is too often driven by the extremes,’’ he said.
The state’s lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, will enter the position of governor of New York once Cuomo’s resignation has formally taken effect on 24 August 2021. This is notable as Hochul will be the state’s first female governor. In a tweet, Hochul states, ‘’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.’’ Hochul was Cuomo’s running mate in 2014. She has since distanced herself from the governor and issued a statement after the release of the AG report. She expressed that the report ‘’documented repulsive and unlawful behavior by the Governor towards multiple women.’’