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Hochul picks state Sen. Benjamin as her LG

Aug 26, 2021 6:00 am

Joshua Solomon is reporting for the Times Union Gov. Kathy Hochul has selected state Sen. Brian A. Benjamin, a Democrat from Harlem, as her lieutenant governor. She will make the formal announcement on Thu., Aug. 26. The event is scheduled to take place at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. state office building, one block east of the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem. The selection affirms Hochul's pledge to diversify her administration and to balance her administration's upstate, Buffalo-area roots with Benjamin's deep ties to the New York City area. Benjamin, a black man, is a self-described progressive and has linked himself to the defund the police movement. Unlike a presidential election, in New York, the governor and lieutenant governor do not run on a joint ticket, but often campaign together. Benjamin first took office in 2017, and won a full term in 2018. In 2020, he began to campaign for city comptroller, which he ultimately decided against. Benjamin was born in Harlem to a Caribbean mother, went to Brown University, and received a master's degree in business from Harvard University. He worked in investment banking for Morgan Stanley and helped to build affordable housing in Harlem. He was a 2012 delegate for President Barack Obama and a member of Obama’s National Finance Committee. Benjamin is the chairman of the Senate's Budget and Revenue Committee. He pushed forward bills on prison reforms this past year. New York Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy called Benjamin a "radical leftist" based on his position on police reform. Read the full story in the Times Union.