Hochul Selects Rep. Antonio Delgado to be New Lieutenant Governor

May 4, 2022 by Dan McCue
Hochul Selects Rep. Antonio Delgado to be New Lieutenant Governor
Democrat Antonio Delgado speaks at a democratic watch party in Kingston, N.Y., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, after defeating incumbent Republican John Faso for the U.S. House race. (Seth Wenig/AP)

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul filled the state’s vacant lieutenant governor position on Tuesday, naming Rep. Antonio Delgado to take over the role.

The appointment means the congressman, who flipped New York’s 19th Congressional District to the Democratic column in 2018 and resoundingly won reelection in 2020, will be the second-highest ranking state official in New York. 

He is expected to be sworn in by the end of May and be Hochul’s running mate in the November election.

“We share a belief in working together to get things done for New Yorkers, and Rep. Delgado has an incredible record of doing just that in Congress,” Hochul said in a tweet posted late Tuesday afternoon. 

“With Antonio Delgado by my side serving as lieutenant governor, we will both make history – and make a difference,” she added.

Hochul’s announcement came a day after the state legislature passed a law allowing former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin to be removed from that ballot because of his federal indictment on bribery and corruption charges. Benjamin resigned from office last month.

Delgado, a moderate, hails from the small upstate town of Rhinebeck, New York .He was a Rhodes Scholar, graduated from Harvard Law School and was inducted into the Upstate Basketball Hall of Fame due to his skills at college hoops. 

Speaking at an Albany news conference on Tuesday, Delgado said serving in his district had provided him with “many opportunities to meet folks where they are — to listen and to find common ground.

“This has always been the mission: to connect,” he said. “We need to reconnect and strengthen our collective bond as New Yorkers. We need to heal together, and put humanity back into our interactions.”

Later, on Twitter, Delgado added, “Being appointed lieutenant governor of New York is a true honor. Thank you to Gov. Kathy Hochul, the Committee to Fill Vacancies, and the New York State Democratic Party for recognizing my work in Congress and passion to connect with the amazing people in each corner of the Empire State.

“The key is to listen to New Yorkers from all walks of life and then be their voice to get the job done,” he said in the second of a series of tweets.

New York Republicans wasted no time in “welcoming” him into the world of state politics.

In a statement New York Republican party boss Nick Langworthy called Delgado a “radical leftist who wants to dismantle our criminal justice system and make New York a socialist state.”

In a much kinder statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Delgado has served as a “champion for security and opportunity.” 

“In Congress, Congressman Delgado has earned the respect of his colleagues for working across the aisle on 18 bills that have been signed into law … from strengthening financial aid for college students to delivering more benefits for veterans,” she continued.

“Congressman Delgado’s community has greatly benefited from his strong voice for family farmers as chair of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit. A valued leader on the Small Business Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, he has fought for more resources to clean up PFAS chemicals, support for small businesses, expanded broadband access and much more. 

“His leadership is marked by his commitment to hearing the voices of his constituents at his prolific town halls across his district,” Pelosi continued. “Personally, I will miss Congressman Delgado, his wife Lacey and his family when he departs from the House. The people of New York will be well-served by his intellectual brilliance, tireless work ethic, strong values and his extraordinary talent for communicating with his constituents. 

“He and Governor Kathy Hochul will make a terrific team, and we wish him all the best in his continued public service as lieutenant governor,” she said.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., also commented on Delgado’s appointment, saying that in his two terms in the House, “Delgado has set a high bar for service to community and constituents.

“Embodying the ethos of ‘leading with love’ every day, Congressman Delgado prioritized listening to his neighbors in upstate New York and seeking common ground while working to address their needs,” Hoyer said. “I know Antonio will bring his work ethic to the position of New York lieutenant governor, supporting my good friend Governor Kathy Hochul, and connecting with New Yorkers across the state.”

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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