On Tuesday night, NY Governor Kathy Hochul made her first appearance in a debate against U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi of Long Island and New York City’s elected Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, in the race toward keeping her job.
Shot at for her past backing from the National Rifle Association and the deal she reached to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer money on a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills, Hochul defended herself saying, “That was a decade ago. Judge me by what I’ve done because a lot of people have evolved since I took that position. You know what we need? More people to evolve.”
After becoming Governor last August following the resignation of Andrew Cuomo, Hochul is seeking to become the first woman elected to New York’s highest office, but first, she has to win her party’s June 28 primary contest against Suozzi and Williams.
Suozzi boasted of having an “F” rating from the NRA and said that while all the candidates on the stage supported the state’s new gun laws, “only one of us standing up here has ever been endorsed by the NRA, taken money from the NRA.”
Hochul, trying to show she acted quickly amid rising gun violence and a mass shooting in Buffalo last month, highlighted a package of gun bills she signed this week that prohibited anyone under 21 from buying a semiautomatic rifle and required microstamping on new firearms, which would leave individual identifiers on bullet casings fired by those guns.
“I’ve been the governor for nine months. I got it done in record time,” she said.
She also defended her plan to spend an eventual $850 million in taxpayer money toward a new stadium for her hometown Buffalo Bills. A Buffalo native and Bills fan, she said the stadium deal will create jobs and economically benefit New York. She also said there is no connection her husband’s company and the deal.