According to those closest to her, the current 62-year-old lieutenant governor is fully primed for the big move and all that comes with it: “Kathy is absolutely ready,” Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Jeremy Zellner told The Post.
“There’s one word that describes our lieutenant governor: tenacious,” Zellner added, pointing to Hochul’s ability to appeal to rural and urban Democrats alike. “She’s been a bulldog from day one. She knows what needs to get done for the people of New York.”
Meanwhile, in exchange for moving on up to the iconic “Executive Mansion,” Hochul will be leaving some properties behind — including a comparably unglamorous $485,000 waterfront condo in Buffalo, The Post can report.
Hochul initially bought the two-floor unit in 2013 with her husband, William Hochul Jr., after selling her longtime family home in Hamburg, NY, for $260,000, property records show.
Resurfaced real estate listing photos of the condo, made up of three bedrooms and 2½ bathrooms, do not exactly showcase the home in the best light, as they appear to be taken at night, with the interior looking more than a bit outdated.
In the span of the eight years since Hochul has owned the residence, the home has most likely seen some renovations beyond the new Pella doors installed on the patio in 2012, according to the original listing.
Meanwhile, spanning nearly 3,000 square feet, the unit is made up of the fourth and fifth floors of the building and includes an expansive living area with a wood-burning fireplace, according to the listing.
It’s unclear if Hochul uses the waterfront home as her main residence, and The Post has reached out for comment, but other features include a formal dining room with a wet bar that boasts water views.
On the same floor are two spaces held for a bedroom and an office.
The second floor holds an expansive primary en-suite bedroom with a den and several closets. A two-car garage is reserved for the condo, and several boating docks are also available for residents.
A Buffalo native and steelworker’s daughter, Hochul received her BA from Syracuse University, and a law degree from the Columbus School of Law at Washington, DC’s Catholic University.
By the early ’90s, she pivoted from law to politics, earning her chops as an aide in Washington to former US Rep. John LaFalce and Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
Next up: Her first public office, on the town board in Hamburg, near Buffalo, from 1994 to 2007.
By 2003, Hochul was tapped by Erie County Clerk David Swarts to be his deputy. When Swarts resigned in 2007, Hochul was elected to finish out his term — and clinched re-election in 2010.
But back to her living situations: Hochul and her husband also own another three-bedroom waterfront condo next door to the first condo, that they also purchased in 2013 for an estimated $400,000, according to property records.
Additionally, they have a vacation home in the unincorporated area of Bumpass, Virginia, records show.
The residence is situated on an acre of land, which they purchased for $635,000 in a cash deal back in 2008.
Despite coming into the role of governor on a clean slate, Hochul’s husband presents a possible conflict of interest, as the former federal prosecutor is a general counsel and senior vice president at gambling and hospitality giant Delaware North.
Hochul could play a major role in the company’s future earnings as she is in charge of the New York State Gaming Commission, which must sign off on any sales and acquisitions of betting facilities.
Hochul also has access to New York State Thruway Authority and the state Office of Parks and Recreation, with which Delaware North has almost $50 million in long-term contracts to operate food and beverage concessions, the Daily Beast first reported. These contracts will need to renew in the next two years while Hochul is in office.
On Monday, after Andrew Cuomo’s unexpected resignation announcement, Hochul slammed her once-admired predecessor, opining that his decision to step down was the “right thing to do” after his “repulsive and unlawful behavior.”
In her first press conference Tuesday since Cuomo’s announcement, Hochul revealed that the 14-day transition plan was not what she asked for, but she is looking “forward for a smooth transition, which he promised.”
Although she stayed relatively quiet when Cuomo’s sexual harassment scandal erupted in late 2020, as governor, Hochul will be charged with getting a grip on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery involving billions of dollars in federal aid.
According to some folks in the know — we certainly shouldn’t count out her ability to smooth out the rough edges currently surrounding the Cuomo handover just yet.
“Pragmatic would be a good way to describe her,” Jacob Neiheisel, an associate political science professor at the University at Buffalo, told The Post. “[She’s] someone who is pretty good at reading the tea leaves and coming around to where her constituency is.”