By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday the appointment of U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19, as lieutenant governor.
“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,” Hochul said in a statement Tuesday. “We share a belief in working together to get things done for New Yorkers, and Rep. Delgado has an incredible record of doing just that in Congress. With Antonio Delgado by my side serving as lieutenant governor, we will both make history — and make a difference.”
Delgado, a Democrat who represents Greene County as part of the 19th congressional district, replaces former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, who resigned last month amid corruption charges after eight months on the job. Benjamin is being charged with one count of federal program bribery, one count of honest services wire fraud, one count of conspiracy and two counts of falsification of records. He resigned in April hours after the charges were announced and surrendered to the FBI.
Hochul said Tuesday that Delgado has a record of working for his constituents and has helped provide relief for family farms and small businesses, increasing access to broadband, creating green energy jobs and supporting veterans.
Delgado was elected to Congress in 2018 and is chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit, and serves on the House Small Business and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.
Hochul’s announcement came as a surprise to some as Delgado was up for re-election to Congress this year in a swing district. His most prominent challenger was Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, a Republican, who is also a former state assemblyman and mayor of Tivoli. Molinaro ran for governor in 2018 and lost to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Delgado is a two-term congressman who is known around the district for his inclusive town hall meetings — he has held 65 town hall meetings in all 11 counties in the district and continued the meetings virtually throughout the COVID-19 shutdown.
Delgado said he is looking forward to representing New Yorkers across the state.
“New Yorkers deserve a lieutenant governor who’s working day and night to makes lives better for working people and their families,” Delgado said. “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.”
Delgado grew up in Schenectady and currently lives in Rhinebeck with his wife and twin sons. He attended Colgate University and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford. He then went on to earn a law degree from Harvard Law School.