Resigned Lt. Gov. Benjamin Leaves NY Gov. Hochul a Big Dilemma New York State Governor Kathy Hochul speaks during a press conference at the site of a shooting at the 36 St subway station in New York City on April 12, 2022. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
By John Gizzi | Wednesday, 13 April 2022 06:50 AM
New York’s Democrat Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin resigned Tuesday following his arrest on charges of bribery and campaign finance violations and now Gov. Kathy Hochul is faced with a major dilemma concerning just who will be her running mate in the June 28 primary.
Under Empire State election law, Benjamin’s name can only be taken off the primary ballot if he dies or moves out of state.
The alternatives in the primary are former New York City Councilwoman Diana Reyna, running mate of Hochul, Rep. Tom Suozzi, and Ana Maria Achila, founder of the pro-immigrant group known as Make the Road New York and running mate of Hochul’s other opponent and New York Public Advocate, Jummane Williams.
Complicating the matter further is that, regardless of the outcome of the Democrat primary, Williams and Achila will both be on the November ballot as nominees of the far-left Working Families Party (WFP).
The Republican nominee for the lieutenant governor, tapped by near-certain GOP gubernatorial nominee and Rep. Lee Zeldin, is New York City Police Deputy Inspector Allison Esposito.
The Zeldin-Esposito ticket will also be on the November ballot as the nominees of the New York State Conservative Party (New York is one of five states in which candidates can appear on the ballots of two different parties and have their votes counted aggregately).
New York law also requires the governor and lieutenant governor to run as a team like the president and vice president.
Following Benjamin’s resignation, the state Republican Party issued a statement condemning the disgraced former lieutenant governor as “corrupt and dishonest – of course he fits right in with Kathy Hochul,” adding “it’s time for New Yorkers to show them both the door.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.