Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that she is appointing Representative Antonio Delgado to serve as Lieutenant Governor of New York. Representative Delgado currently represents New York’s 19th Congressional District, which includes the Hudson Valley and Catskills. Delgado is Afro-Latino, the first person of color to represent Upstate New York in Congress and a member of both the Black and Hispanic Congressional Caucuses.
VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.
AUDIO of the event is available here.
PHOTOS of the event will be available on the Governor’s Flickr page.
A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:
But this is an exciting day, the culmination of a challenging, difficult couple of weeks, not just for me, but for New York. And I deeply believe that the people of the State of New York deserve to have absolute confidence in their elected officials.
And for that to happen, they must have full faith in those serving in the highest levels of state government adhering to the highest ethical standards. When I was sworn into office just a few months ago, I made a promise to New Yorkers that would restore their trust in government. And I have every intention of making good on that promise.
So with that in mind, let me tell you something else I believe, I believe that New Yorkers deserve a government that is fully staffed, fully functioning, and fully committed to delivering for New Yorkers. They deserve a government that will work around the clock, relentlessly, to deliver results. They deserve a government that is laser-focused on leading New York’s next great comeback and building a brighter, better future, a more equitable future, for every New Yorker.
To do that I need someone by my side who I can rely on for wisdom, guidance, and advice, and that person must be willing to put New Yorkers first and place a high priority on delivering results, rather than playing partisan politics. They must believe in hard work, be a team player, and treat everyone with respect. And most important, they must be someone that New Yorkers trust and have absolute confidence in. So today, I’m really proud to say, I found that person. Today I’m announcing my nominee, my selection for the new Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York: Congressman Antonio Delgado.
Your family is so excited. The Congressmen is no stranger to hard work and to public service. He has been serving New York’s 19th congressional district, since 2018. And as we went down the list of candidates for this job, his name kept rising to the top. But if you follow politics, this should not come as a surprise. He’s been a rising star, with a resume to match. Here on a Rhodes Scholarship while attending Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. After returning home from Oxford, he went to Harvard Law School. Spent his early career empowering young people. And also before returning to law, he worked as a young lawyer in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.
On top of that, he’s made history. But what’s most important to me, what’s most impressive about this person, he’s the right person for the job. It’s his background. It’s his story to his family. It’s his life experience. The fact is he could have done anything, and he chose public service. In my opinion, you’ve heard me say this over and over. There is nothing more noble, nothing more sacred, than the bond that’s created between an individual who runs for office. And they put their trust in you on Election Day. And that must never be severed.
I know that he’ll work for every New Yorker, upstate and downstate because he is a New Yorker through and through. He grew up in Schenectady, lives in Rhinebeck, spent time in New York City. And I know that he’ll fight for working families because he has a beautiful one of his own. With Lacey, his bride, his twin sons, Maxwell, and Coltrane. There you go, gentlemen, you’ve been called on. He understands the heavy burden that falls on working parents, and it’s so critical to build a better future for our children. And he’ll do so by ensuring access to healthcare, childcare, and high quality education. He’s also seen the transformative power of statewide economic growth firsthand.
His parents worked at General Electric in Schenectady. Proud work, lot of people work there. And it has an incredible story. He’s watched the type of jobs that provided a path to the middle-class disappear, like many communities, like the community I came from. Those good paying middle-class jobs that were there one day and they were gone. And it affected not just the communities, but the psychology of your region. The psychology, because you just don’t know what the future’s going to bring, you give up hope. I know this, so I know he’ll do whatever it takes to bring those communities back, and so others have the same opportunities that he did. I know he’ll fight tooth and nail for those things. And for all New Yorkers.
Just like he’s been doing in Congress, pushing for quality, affordable healthcare. Supporting the small businesses, something that’s deeply personal to both of us. And working hard to bring jobs to his district. Making sure that our veterans get more than just recognition and a thank-you for your service. They have to have the resources to continue and have the support they need, whether it’s housing or education or jobs. And he’s working hard already to ensure that every single community comes back from that pandemic. And he was supportive of the rescue plan, his bill had direct support for communities which does which delivered over $130 billion in aid for local government, he gets it. He knows where the power truly lies. Antonio is someone who’s been in the public arena for all the right reasons. He doesn’t just talk, he gets results.
But that’s not all. He shares my commitment to transparency and accountability. He opened five offices in his district. He formed constituent-led community committees to ensure that he was aligned with their priorities. He’s out there all the time. I think Lacey could probably verify that. He’s out there all the time and I thank you for your family’s sacrifice.
But finally, we share the common belief that the only reason we should be in these jobs or pursue public service is to get things done. Nothing is more important, not the partisan politics. He’s been working across the aisle. He gets things done. He’s first in many, many recognitions. And I want to say, this is an exciting day for the future of New York, because Antonio Delgado is the right person for this job.
Just a few months ago, I outlined my state’s vision for the state’s future. I talked about the incredible hardship we endured over these years, but I said better days are on the horizon and that we have a new era for New York. And I said, this is the beginning of New York’s greatest comeback. We must embrace this moment of unlimited possibilities, creative a better, fairer, more equitable version of the American dream. The dream that we call the New York Dream.
We have a lot of work ahead of us, my friends, but I promised not to stop working until we make that dream real. And I know I can say the same about Antonio and I have no doubt, no doubt whatsoever, that New Yorkers will be so proud to get to know their new lieutenant governor. He’ll embrace them with the same enthusiasm that I have. I’m honored to have him at my side.
And with that, it is my high honor to introduce our next Lieutenant Governor, Congressman Antonio Delgado. He really makes me feel short, but I’ll get over that.
Representative Delgado: Good afternoon. It’s a good day for my family. I want to start by thanking Governor Hochul for your kind words. Sitting there listening to you talk about what I bring to the table and the desire to really want to care for people and to serve people, I know you get that. I know you do. I know you care and it’s just an honor to be able to stand here with you and do this work together. I’m excited to be a partner with you and build a better future for New York.
It is also good to be with my family, the reason I’m here today. I have to acknowledge my base, my support, the folks who’ve been with me from the very beginning and through all the twists and turns of life, you know, you need that anchor. I have to first recognize my wife, my everything, Lacey, who has been the rock for me from the moment I laid eyes on her. I’m going to stop there before I get emotional.
Our boys, you’ve all met them already, I believe, Maxwell and Coltrane. My father for talking to me about character every day growing up. My mother who talked about the power of love every day growing up. My brother, my little brother, who I knew in my heart of hearts I needed to make sure I set the right mark and who would push me to be better every single day. His wife, Rachel, my sister, my beautiful niece, Melina, my mother-in-law, Peggy, for your sacrifice and your work, and to her partner, Michael, thank you. I love you all.
Let me also say a few words about the reports of the Supreme Court reportedly being prepared to turn back the clock on equality in America, on women’s rights and fundamentally on the very principles that anchor our democracy. I want to be clear about something, make no mistake. In seeking to overturn nearly 50 years of precedent, the Supreme Court is at once reasserting, a social order, grounded in patriarchy and male dominance over a woman’s body.
It is reasserting an order linked to a time when a married woman did not have a separate and legal existence from her husband. These decisions are about power. A certain control over a woman’s body is about asserting power. And I don’t know, I genuinely do not know how we square going backwards in this way, with our commitment as a country to progress. To believing that we are all created equal. Clearly the fight to live up to our values and ideas continues.
And I’m wholeheartedly in that fight. In New York, I’m not backing down. Now as for today, which is a good day. It feels mighty good. I want to say that over the course of my time in Congress, there has been nothing, and I mean nothing, that I have loved that I have loved more than connecting in a real way with the communities I represent in all 11 counties of my beautiful district.
These relationships on the ground built through genuine dialogue and mutual respect have served as a source of my inspiration in the most challenging of days. And there have been some very challenging days. It is certainly true that the halls of Congress have instilled in me at times, quite often all admiration, and profound respect and yet being home in New York amongst the people I represent is why I have undoubtedly felt most fulfilled and energized. Representing this region has blessed me with so many opportunities to meet folks where they are. To listen and to find common ground.
And at every single stop, be it a small business, a family farm, a community bank, a local hospital, a public school or town hall. And we did do about, I think 67 in my first three years in Congress. This has always been the mission, to connect. It is with these incredible experiences in mind that I can’t help, I simply cannot help, but welcome with open arms the opportunity to connect with communities all across this amazing state.
After two years of COVID, over two years, intense isolation, distance from one another, we need to reconnect and strengthen our collective bond. As New Yorkers, we need to heal together and put humanity back into our interactions with one another. I want to be a part of that healing process. I think I understand what that process needs.
It needs love, it needs compassion, it needs responsibility, it needs accountability, it needs the capacity to care and it need the willingness to help. New Yorkers deserve a Lieutenant governor who’s working day and night to make lives better for working people and their families. Upstate, downstate, it does not matter.
We all want the same thing: security, family, opportunity. The key is to listen, to listen to New Yorkers from all walks of life and be their voice to get the job done. I’ve already begun work on infrastructure, economic development and job creation in New York. I’ve led the way and making sure that local communities have economic development resources, and importantly can decide what to do with economic development funds. I’ve worked on the nexus between agricultural development, upstate and critical markets downstate.
I will humbly continue to do this work and be very diligent as your Lieutenant Governor, as we embark on this journey together, I look forward to connecting with diverse communities all across New York. I look forward to building meaningful relationships, to tapping into the goodness of our collective power.
Listen and I know it’s been tough. It’s a tough day. It really is. We’ve been through a lot and it’s easy to get dispirited, it is and cynical. But I also know what we’ve overcome and none of us have to do this alone. None of us.
I also know it is important for us to remember that democracy is a moral endeavor. We have to believe in it. We have to have faith in democracy. At the heart of democracy is the recognition that there is equal dignity in each of us, by virtue of our shared humanity, a humanity, gifted to us all by a higher power.
And this equality, this is the beautiful part about this system, this equality is expressed through a concept, one person, one vote. The power to right the wrongs of our society ought to live equally in all of us. And only when it does, can our society be truly free and just. Democracy does not happen on its own. The people have to hold leaders accountable and leaders have to want to be accountable. That is the work. We must do everything in our power to make sure that we keep democracy close to the will of the people.
That’s how we restore people’s faith in the integrity of the system. I believe we can work together. I know it, we can grow together and we can thrive together. And I just want to close by once again, thanking Governor Hochul for her service to the state of New York, for giving me this opportunity. I truly appreciate it.
I am beyond excited. I am. I am beyond excited to get out there and connect to connect with the people of New York. Thank you. And God Bless.