Gov. Hochul Picks State Sen. Brian Benjamin, from Harlem, as her Lt. Gov.

Gov. Hochul Picks State Sen. Brian Benjamin, from Harlem, as her Lt. Gov.

     by Yehudit Garmaise

     Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was sworn in yesterday as the state’s chief executive, has appointed New York state Sen. Brian Benjamin (D-Harlem), NY1 reported.

     State Sen. Benjamin, who serves as the state Senate’s Chairman of Committee on Revenue and Budget, and was born in Harlem, graduated from high school in New York City, and studied Public Policy at Brown University before receiving his MBA from Harvard Business School.

     Gov. Hochul’s choice of State Sen. Benjamin, who represents Harlem, East Harlem, the Upper West Side, and the Upper East Side will complement the background and experiences of New York’s new governor, who grew up in Buffalo.

     “I am an upstater, even though I’ve spent thousands of hours in New York City, and I’m well familiar with the challenges,” Hochul said. “But I want someone who lives there.

     “I want someone who understands the challenges firsthand.”

     Benjamin, who has known Gov. Hochul since he was first elected as a New York state senator in 2017, when he vowed to “protect progressive values,” previously told AmNews that he is proud to be considered to be part of the team to help New York state.

     Benjamin first met Gov. Hochul in 2017 when she joined him to tour small businesses in his district, something the two have done again more recently.

     “She’s someone who has shown that she cares about communities like ours,” Benjamin said. “So I feel confident as governor, she will continue to do so."

     Before joining the state Senate, Benjamin served on the New York City Council and worked as an investment advisor at Morgan Stanley.

     Yesterday, in her first extended address to the public, Gov. Hochul said her priorities were to fight COVID, increase aid to New Yorkers, and change the culture of Albany, where she will pursue a “fresh collaborative approach."

     “I want people to believe in their government again,” said Gov. Hochul, shortly after Janet DiFiore, New York’s chief judge, swore her into office.

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