Brian Benjamin Is Kathy Hochul’s Decide for N.Y. Lieutenant Governor

ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy C. Hochul has chosen Brian A. Benjamin, a Democratic state senator from Harlem, to be her lieutenant governor, the second highest-ranking place in New York State, based on an individual acquainted with the choice.

Ms. Hochul, a Democrat from Western New York who was sworn in because the state’s first feminine governor on Tuesday, is predicted to announce the appointment later this week.

The choice of Mr. Benjamin, who’s Black, underscored Ms. Hochul’s try to diversify her ticket as she mounts her first marketing campaign for governor subsequent 12 months, selecting a possible working mate who may assist broaden her enchantment within the voter-heavy New York Metropolis area.

Mr. Benjamin is the senior assistant majority chief within the State Senate, the place he has been a vocal proponent of legal justice reforms. He ran unsuccessfully for metropolis comptroller earlier this 12 months, inserting fourth in a crowded Democratic main.

Ms. Hochul’s workplace declined to remark. Mr. Benjamin, 44, who represents a big swath of Higher Manhattan, didn’t reply to a request for remark.

The lieutenant governor, a place that grew to become vacant because of Ms. Hochul’s ascension after former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s resignation, has historically served a principally ceremonial position, entrusted with few statutory duties in addition to the formality of serving as president of the State Senate.

Over the previous few weeks, Ms. Hochul had indicated that she supposed to pick somebody from New York Metropolis. Certainly, Ms. Hochul, who’s white, had approached a handful of metropolis politicians who’re folks of coloration, together with State Senator Jamaal Bailey, a rising star in Bronx politics; Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, the chief of Brooklyn’s Democratic Social gathering; and Rubén Díaz Jr., the outgoing Bronx borough president.

A graduate of Brown College and Harvard College, Mr. Benjamin labored at Morgan Stanley and was a managing companion at Genesis Corporations, an actual property agency with a concentrate on inexpensive housing, earlier than getting into politics.

In 2017, he ran for the State Senate seat vacated by Invoice Perkins, who had received a seat within the Metropolis Council. He emerged because the Democratic Social gathering’s choose for the seat after a conference vote in March and went on to simply defeat his Republican opponent within the overwhelmingly blue district, assuming workplace that June.

As a senator, Mr. Benjamin has backed efforts to shut Rikers Island and supported laws on a variety of legal justice points, from ending money bail and reforming discovery to ending solitary confinement and reforming parole legal guidelines.

He has additionally sponsored payments to get banks to divest from non-public for-profit prisons and create a so-called “wet day fund” that New York Metropolis may faucet into throughout fiscal emergencies.

Mr. Benjamin stated earlier this 12 months that he supported the defund the police motion.

“He’s shiny, he’s clever and I feel he’ll be an important choose,” stated Keith L.T. Wright, the chairman of the Democratic Social gathering in Manhattan and a detailed buddy of Mr. Benjamin’s who backed his Senate candidacy. “I’ve seen picks that haven’t been so nice. I feel he can be somebody who would roll up his sleeves and get to work.”

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