x

Politics

Hochul Selects Sen. Brian Benjamin for Lieutenant Governor

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has selected Brian Benjamin, a state senator from New York City, as her choice for lieutenant governor, according to a person familiar with the administration's internal discussions.

The person spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Hochul had yet to announce her decision publicly. She is expected to do so this week.

If he accepts the job, the 44-year-old Benjamin would become the state's second Black lieutenant governor. The Democrat, whose district includes most of central Harlem, has focused his legislative career on criminal justice reform and affordable housing.

The role of lieutenant governor in New York has long been largely ceremonial,  with the officeholders traveling to ribbon-cutting ceremonies and town halls across the state. But two recent lieutenant governors have become governor following the resignations of their predecessors. 

Hochul, a Democrat, became governor Tuesday when Andrew Cuomo resigned after facing numerous allegations of sexual harassment, which he denied. David Paterson, the state's first Black lieutenant governor, became its first Black governor when Eliot Spitzer resigned after revelations that he had patronized a prostitute. 

Hochul's and Benjamin's offices didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.

Benjamin is the son of Caribbean immigrants. He was born in Harlem Hospital and raised in the neighborhood, later earning a bachelor's degree in public policy from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He later worked as a developer of affordable housing. He is now senior assistant majority leader in the Senate and chair of the budget and revenue committee.

Benjamin initially ran on promises to close Rikers Island, New York City's giant and troubled jail complex, and sponsored a bill to do so. He also introduced legislation to divest New York's public pension fund from private prisons. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli later ended the fund's holdings in those companies.

In the national uproar after the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota in 2020, Benjamin helped push through a law to criminalize the use of police chokeholds that result in injury or death.

Benjamin has also tweeted support for defunding the police.

This year, Benjamin sponsored a bill  making it harder to incarcerate people for minor parole violations. The legislation passed the Senate and Assembly but hasn't been delivered to the governor, according to the Senate's website.

Benjamin unsuccessfully ran for New York City comptroller this year.

RELATED

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump has appealed his $454 million New York civil fraud judgment, challenging a judge’s finding that Trump lied about his wealth as he grew the real estate empire that launched him to stardom and the presidency.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary’s parliament voted Monday to ratify Sweden's bid to join NATO, bringing an end to more than 18 months of delays that have frustrated the alliance as it seeks to expand in response to Russia's war in Ukraine.

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City is marking the anniversary of the 1993 bombing at the old World Trade Center that blew apart a van parked in an underground garage, killing six people and injured more than 1,000.

A magnificent, elegant, 3 level residence for sale in Voula, just 500 meters from the pristine shores of Kavouri (Vouliagmeni) at the heart of the Athenian riviera and just 20 min from the airport and Athens downtown.

The percentage of home buyers dropped from 34% to 26% as more and more people opt to rent instead of buy, according to the National Association of Realtors Research Group ’s 2023 report.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.