Brian Benjamin: Incoming lieutenant governor talks working with Hochul, plans to bring state together

Hochul Administration

NEW YORK — New York has a lieutenant governor after Gov. Kathy Hochul introduced her second-in-command Thursday.

New York Sen. Brian Benjamin was tapped to become Hochul’s partner in leading the state.

Benjamin told PIX11 News Friday he knew a few days prior that the governor would ask him to be lieutenant governor and knew longer that he was in contention for the position. 

With the transition of power underway, Benjamin said one of his main focuses is getting the state back to normal as they govern through a crisis.

“It’s about us working together” rather than criticizing people with different opinions, he said.

Gov. Hochul was known for traveling across the 62 counties in the state when she was lieutenant governor. 

Benjamin said he intends to get out and touch every corner of the state.

He acknowledged the governor is trying to put together a team and make sure every part of the state is included.

“As her number two, I will follow her lead,” he said. “New York is going to be in for an inclusive government.”

The incoming lieutenant governor’s legislative career has been mainly focused on criminal justice reform.

“We can make sure that we have criminal justice fairness for all and keep the public safe at the same time,” Benjamin said.

He added that once people get beyond the “petty politics,” ultimately, everyone’s goal is to keep the public safe.

As the city has seen an increase in gun violence, Benjamin said he knows Police Commissioner Dermot Shea well and there have been conversations in the community about keeping the public safe.

Benjamin also said he plans to run for a full term for lieutenant governor in 2022 and plans to stay in Harlem unless Gov. Hochul requests him to move to Albany. 

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