ALBANY—Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday, May 3, that she is appointing Representative Antonio Delgado (D-19th) to serve as Lieutenant Governor of New York.
“New Yorkers deserve a lieutenant governor who’s working day and night to make lives better for working people and their families,” Representative Delgado said in a press release about the 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.”
The New York Times reported that Rep. Delgado will take the oath of office as Lieutenant Governor in the coming weeks.
The 19th Congressional District includes 11 counties including all of Columbia County. Rep. Delgado was first elected to the seat in 2018 and reelected in 2020. In Congress, he is chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit, and he serves on the House Small Business and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.
He is the first person of color to represent Upstate New York in Congress and a member of both the Black and Hispanic Congressional Caucuses. Rep. Delgado grew up in Schenectady and now lives in Rhinebeck with his wife, Lacey, and their twin eight-year-old sons, Maxwell and Coltrane. He attended Colgate University and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford. He received a law degree from Harvard Law School.
“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,” Governor Hochul said in the release.
The press release also points out that in Congress, Rep. Delgado “has led the fight to deliver for his constituents” on issues of providing relief for family farms, increasing access to broadband, and supporting veterans. He’s had 18 bills signed into law by presidents of both parties.
Former state Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin resigned on April 12 after being charged with bribery and related offenses.
“As alleged, Brian Benjamin used his power as a New York state senator to secure a state-funded grant in exchange for contributions to his own political campaigns. By doing so, Benjamin abused his power and effectively used state funds to support his political campaigns. My office and our partners at the FBI and DOI will continue to ensure that politicians who put themselves over the public interest will be prosecuted,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in a press release in April.
At the time, the governor said in a statement, “I have accepted Brian Benjamin’s resignation effective immediately. While the legal process plays out, it is clear to both of us that he cannot continue to serve as Lieutenant Governor. New Yorkers deserve absolute confidence in their government, and I will continue working every day to deliver for them.”
Governor Hochul is currently finishing the term of former Governor Andrew Cuomo, who resigned in August. She is running for election this November. Mr. Benjamin’s name was on the ballot as Lt. governor but last week, the state Senate passed a bill that amended state election law “to allow a candidate to decline their nomination — and have their name removed from the ballot — if they are convicted of or charged with a misdemeanor or felony” according to the Times Union.
Rep. Delgado’s term in Congress was up this year.
Republican Marcus Molinaro, who is currently Dutchess County executive, is running for election for the 19th Congressional District. Mr. Molinaro was a member of the New York State Assembly, representing District 103, which included parts of Columbia County from 2007 to 2012. Mr. Molinaro also ran for governor in 2018.
The Democrats have not announced a candidate for Rep. Delgado’s seat.
According to USA Today, Govennor Hochul is expected to call a special election for the 19th district, which she must do within 10 days of a vacancy being created and the election would be held 70 to 80 days after it is announced. But she was quoted in the newspaper saying, “this is all obviously very new, and we’re working out the timing of everything.”
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email