New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday she has tapped U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado as her lieutenant governor following the resignation of Brian Benjamin after his arrest on corruption charges last month.
Delgado, a Democrat, represents New York's 19th congressional district, which includes the Hudson Valley and Catskills. An Afro-Latino, he is the first person of color to represent upstate New York in Congress and is a member of both the Black and Hispanic Congressional Caucuses.
Latinos make up roughly one-fifth of the population but have not yet been elected to statewide office in New York or citywide office in New York City.
"I am proud to appoint Antonio Delgado, an outstanding leader and public servant, as Lieutenant Governor of New York, and I look forward to working with him to usher in a new era of fairness, equity, and prosperity for communities across the State," Hochul said in a statement announcing the appointment. "We share a belief in working together to get things done for New Yorkers, and Representative Delgado has an incredible record of doing just that in Congress."
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"With Antonio Delgado by my side serving as Lieutenant Governor, we will both make history - and make a difference," Hochul added.
An upstate native, Delgado grew up in Schenectady and lives in Rhinebeck with his wife, Lacey, and their twin 8-year-old sons, Maxwell and Coltrane.
He attended Colgate University and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford. Then, he received a law degree from Harvard Law School, where he met his wife. He lived in New York City for several years as a young lawyer.
"New Yorkers deserve a Lieutenant Governor who's working day and night to make lives better for working people and their families," Delgado said of his appointment. "Upstate, downstate, doesn't matter. We all want the same things, security, family, and opportunity. The key is to listen to New Yorkers from all walks of life and then be their voice to get the job done."
Delgado has fought to provide relief for family farms, help small businesses rebuild and thrive, create clean energy jobs, increase access to broadband and support veterans, Hochul's office said, noting his proven ability to reach across the aisle to get things done. He has had 18 bills signed into law by presidents of both parties and passed critical reforms, including the Strengthening Financial Aid for Students Act, and the Improving Benefits for Underserved Veterans Act, Direct Support for Communities Act and the Small Business Relief Accessibility Act.
Delgado was first elected to Congress in 2018. He serves as the Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit, and holds membership on the House Small Business and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.
Hochul made the announcement Tuesday as she looks to turn the page once again after her lieutenant governor pick -- made in an effort to restore trust in government following former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's resignation -- imploded amid scandal.
It comes a day after legislative allies changed state law Monday in a way that gets Benjamin off the ballot in the primary election and lets Hochul campaign with Delgado.