By Kevin Limiti • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
Kathy Hochul, New York’s governor-in-waiting, has made a favorable impression on Otsego County officials the past few years.
Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig said Hochul had visited Oneonta at least a half a dozen times.
“She has been very supportive of Oneonta’s effort to revitalize and restore our economy,” Herzig said. “I think she’s a true friend of Oneonta. I hope to get her to visit Oneonta in the near future.”
Common Councilmember Len Carson, a Republican who is running for mayor this year, also had positive things to say about Hochul, who is a Democrat.
“I’m looking forward to seeing someone representing New York state that’s from Upstate. It would be nice to see the type of leadership she’s going to bring,” Carson said. “I’m very hopeful that Upstate New York will finally have a friendly ear to our concerns, rather than NYC being the one that gets the attention.”
Hochul has also visited Cooperstown several times, including for a tourism symposium a year ago, where she met with mayor Ellen Tillapaugh.
“She certainly knows Upstate far more than any other governor,” Tillapaugh said. “For the first time in the history of the village there are four women on the village board and we are all thrilled that we will have a female governor.”
Tillapaugh touted Hochul’s credentials in serving local town government and on the congressional level.
“She has a wealth of experience but she’s a good listener. She goes around the state and listens to the concerns of local constituents,” Tillapaugh said. “I think these are all critical components. I don’t think she’s going to be dictatorial in any way.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation Tuesday, Aug. 10, in the wake of an independent report that said he sexually harassed at least 11 women while in office and he and his staff retaliated against a whistle blower.
A Buffalo native and Syracuse University graduate, Hochul was an aide to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. She then served as a member of her town board and as Erie County Clerk. She was elected to Congress during a special election in 2011 and won a primary to become Cuomo’s second in command in 2014.
Hochul recently sought to distance herself from Cuomo by saying that they were not close, and in the past few days, has said she intends to promote a harassment-free workplace.