By Tom Precious
MELVILLE – Kathleen Hochul this morning accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination to be Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s running mate.
“I’m ready to go. I’m ready to get out there," Hochul, an Erie County Democrat, told a cheering crowd at a Long Island hotel this morning.
Hochul, introduced by outgoing Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, spent much of her time talking about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic accomplishments in Western New York – a clear signal that the governor plans to use the former congresswoman as part of his effort to turn around his poor showing in the region four years ago.
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“I humbly accept, with great pride and humility," she told delegates of the nomination to run with Cuomo.
She is the first woman the Democrats have had on a statewide ticket in 35 years.
Hochul’s speech was part Democratic pep talk, and partly an effort to show she can be an attack dog on the campaign trail. She went after Republican gubernatorial nominee Rob Astorino, saying, without naming him, that he had “declared war on Buffalo."
Astorino has raised questions about whether Cuomo’s Buffalo Bill plan is the right way to turn around the region’s economy. But Hochul blasted him, saying criticizing the Buffalo Billion is like criticizing the Bills or Sabres.
Hochul said she looks forward to joining Cuomo “to carry our message of hope … across this great state."