Kathy Hochul — New York’s leading lady — on her big Democratic primary win


The state of our leading lady

On the phone. Our temp governor who’s been the sit-in governor who replaced the former governor and who’s running to be our permanent governor.

Kathy Hochul’s done even more interviews than our NYC mayor Little Lord Fauntleroy. So, being a hard-hitting in-depth reporter, I went for important stuff — like where’d she get primary night’s great white pantsuit?

“Lafayette 148. I started there long back so I went down to their showroom and my good Irish designer friend took great care of me.”

Did she celebrate her great win last Tuesday with a drink?

“Yes, but not beforehand. Afterward we went to a big rooftop space in Tribeca and did a little champagne. We went with my staff, children, husband, sister Sheila to celebrate. My daughter’s 32. I needed to hug her tight.

“Things have changed. When I ran for lieutenant governor I watched people getting on or off the bus at a subway stop. It was obvious women were afraid to welcome a woman who’d be their governor. But you learn you have to rise to the occasion. They’ll need to realize they need to have concern for their own daughters and granddaughters. That means being tough as nails if you have to.

“I’m not scared. We have mass shootings, crime, killings, insanity, inhuman experiences. We have to show women can handle whatever comes. I have no time to worry.

“With some of these Supreme Court decisions I’ve got to think for myself. I have to surround myself with smart people.”

Kathy Hochul
Hochul celebrated being elected the Democratic nominee for NY governor with her family.

So in between saving souls and being a lifeguard, what about her own close people — she getting away for a few days?

“I love water. It’d be great to take a boat ride for a little while with my husband. I’d love to slip away and be with family. We have a 2-month-old grandchild who I even wanted to bring onstage. So sometimes I grab a couple of hours here and there. But New York’s now the Wild West. And we certainly do not want people carrying guns. It means I’m busy and I have to call back the legislature.

“Listen, truth is it was tough at the beginning. I had to work hard when I was just the placeholder. Every day was a battle. Some people were aggressively against me — but I never did anything to go back at them. Look, I was down 10 points in the game. New York City people never even knew me. I’m from Buffalo. ‘Buffalo?!’

“I certainly know it’s a big weight on my shoulders in terms of women. I get a little emotional when I think about it.”

OK, OK. Get to the husband. What about the husband?

“He and my family? That’s the legacy. My husband, William — he’s a lawyer — and he’s the most patient. When I say ‘I’ve got to go now,’ he understands. He’d walk the earth with me. He rolls with it. We’re married 38 years and see each other weekends. We go for a walk. Or sneak out to a small restaurant with me in sneakers and sunglasses.”

Yeah, OK, but better Her Excellency shouldn’t shloomp any ketchup on that white suit.

Peter Guimaraes
Peter Guimaraes, owner of Midtown’s Bice Cucina, says he plans to run against Eric Adams for mayor.

Bice of his mind

Speaking of food and elections, owner Peter Guimaraes of Midtown’s Bice Cucina restaurant: “COVID lockdown killed my last effort but I’ll try again to run for mayor. Republican ticket. Eric Adams has fulfilled absolutely none of his campaign promises. He has to go.”

OK, but keep the pasta hot.

More opinions

All of R. Kelly music’s been yanked from Beach Cafe’s jukebox. Kelly — now persona au gratin — clashes with burgers and is no longer welcome in Dave Goodside’s Upper East Side restaurant.

Only in New York, kids, only in New York. 


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