Governor Kathy Hochul Tuesday announced that she is appointing Representative Antonio Delgado to serve as Lieutenant Governor of New York.
Delgado currently represents New York’s 19th Congressional District, which includes Ulster County.
Delgado is Afro-Latino, the first person of color to represent Upstate New York in Congress and a member of both the Black and Hispanic Congressional Caucuses. He replaces Brian Benjamin, who resigned last month in the face of federal public corruption charges, as Lt Governor.
Delgado will take the oath of office in the coming weeks. He is expected to replace Benjamin on the ballot in the upcoming Democratic primary, following some contentious debate in the legislative chambers over whether or not Benjamin’s name should remain on the ballot.
“I believe that New Yorkers deserve a government that is fully staffed, fully functioning, and fully committed to delivering for New Yorkers,” the Governor said in her press conference Tuesday.
“…To do that I need someone by my side who I can rely on for wisdom, guidance, and advice, and that person must be willing to put New Yorkers first and place a high priority on delivering results, rather than playing partisan politics. They must believe in hard work, be a team player, and treat everyone with respect. And most important, they must be someone that New Yorkers trust and have absolute confidence in. So today, I’m really proud to say, I found that person” Hochul continued. “Today I’m announcing my nominee, my selection for the new Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York: Congressman Antonio Delgado.”
She praised the Congressman as being” no stranger to hard work and to public service.
“As we went down the list of candidates for this job, his name kept rising to the top. But if you follow politics, this should not come as a surprise. He’s been a rising star, with a resume to match” Hochul said.” Here on a Rhodes Scholarship while attending Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. After returning home from Oxford, he went to Harvard Law School. Spent his early career empowering young people. And also before returning to law, he worked as a young lawyer in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.”
Delgado, who grew up in Schenectady, where his parents worked for General Electric, now lives in Rhinebeck. He was elected to his first term in Congress in 2018 and had made plans to seek a third term.
“Now as for today, which is a good day. It feels mighty good. I want to say that over the course of my time in Congress, there has been nothing, and I mean nothing, that I have loved more than connecting in a real way with the communities I represent in all 11 counties of my beautiful district,” Delgado said.
“These relationships on the ground built through genuine dialogue and mutual respect have served as a source of my inspiration in the most challenging of days. And there have been some very challenging days. It is certainly true that the halls of Congress have instilled in me at times, quite often all admiration, and profound respect and yet being home in New York amongst the people I represent is why I have undoubtedly felt most fulfilled and energized. Representing this region has blessed me with so many opportunities to meet folks where they are. To listen and to find common ground.”
Delgado also touched on the day’s top news story, that the U.S. Supreme Court was prepared to overturn its Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
“I want to be clear about something, make no mistake,” he said. “In seeking to overturn nearly 50 years of precedent, the Supreme Court is at once reasserting, a social order, grounded in patriarchy and male dominance over a woman’s body.”
“Listen and I know it’s been tough,” he continued, “It’s a tough day. It really is. We’ve been through a lot and it’s easy to get dispirited, it is and cynical. But I also know what we’ve overcome and none of us have to do this alone. None of us.”
“I also know it is important for us to remember that democracy is a moral endeavor. We have to believe in it. We have to have faith in democracy. At the heart of democracy is the recognition that there is equal dignity in each of us, by virtue of our shared humanity, a humanity, gifted to us all by a higher power.”
Delgado’s appointment mean the 19th Congressional District will have a new representative. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is the Republican candidate. Alexandria Wojcik, Village of New Paltz Deputy Mayor and Housing Justice Activist who is reportedly launching an exploratory committee for the newly open seat.