N.Y. Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin takes oath of office

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 26: State Senator Brian Benjamin and Gov. Kathy Hochul celebrate during a press conference announcing State Senator Brian Benjamin as Lt. Governor on August 26, 2021 in New York City. Senator Benjamin, who placed fourth in the Democratic primary for city comptroller earlier this year, will replace Hochul who was sworn in as Governor this week after the resignation of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Senator Benjamin has been a lead sponsor and advocate for criminal and police reforms that includes the Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act and the Less is More Act, which restricts the use of incarceration for non-criminal technical parole violations. He has also been a proponent of affordable housing. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 26: State Sen. Brian Benjamin and Gov. Kathy Hochul celebrate during a press conference announcing State Sen. Brian Benjamin as Lt. Governor on August 26, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 4:27 PM PT – Thursday, September 9, 2021

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has sworn in her second in command. Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin took the oath of office on Thursday with his family by his side.

This comes just two weeks after Hochul replaced embattled former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) following his multiple scandals. Hochul said there are challenges ahead, but the incoming lieutenant governor is up to the task.

“That’s why I found a person who knows what it’s like to struggle, to work hard, to make something of his life and return service to the community,” said Hochul on her decision to work with Benjamin. “That my friends is the American dream.”

The 44-year-old former state senator from Harlem said he would help Hochul focus on the coronavirus pandemic response and with upgrading New York’s public housing system.

“New York state, I will do everything I can to make sure that those who are living at the margins, those who are struggling, those who are overlooked, will have a seat at the table,” said Benjamin following his official swearing-in ceremony.

In the meantime, a special election will be held to fill Benjamin’s state Senate seat.

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