May 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Antonio Delgado tapped as New York lieutenant governor

Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-N.Y.) at a Congressional Black Caucus press conference on May 22, 2019.

Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-N.Y.) at a Congressional Black Caucus press conference on May 22, 2019. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced her selection of Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-N.Y.) as her lieutenant governor.

Why it matters: The move has significant ramifications on both state and federal politics as Delgado vacates a competitive House seat in upstate New York to become the second-ranking officer in state government.

  • Republicans have a serious recruit for his seat in Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.
  • The race was already set to be competitive, especially after a state appeals court struck down maps that drew Delgado into a more Democratic-leaning seat.

The details: A 45-year-old former Rhodes scholar, rapper and Harvard Law-educated litigator, Delgado first won his seat in 2018 by unseating Republican incumbent John Faso in one of the most closely-watched races that cycle.

  • He easily won reelection to his seat in 2020, beating attorney Kyle Van De Water by nearly 12 points after Republicans failed to recruit a well-known challenger.
  • Delgado holds the distinction of being one of the few people of color (he's Black and Latino) representing a predominantly white district.

What they're saying: "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 when announcing her pick.

  • "We share a belief in working together to get things done for New Yorkers, and Representative Delgado has an incredible record of doing just that in Congress."
  • The NRCC, the House GOP's campaign arm, was quick to jump on the news. "Antonio Delgado was smart and got a jump on the job market before he and the rest of his House Democrat colleagues lose this fall," said spokesperson Samantha Bullock.
  • Delgado's office referred Axios to Hochul's statement.

The backdrop: Hochul ascended to the governorship after her predecessor Andrew Cuomo resigned in scandal, and she originally picked state Sen. Brian Benjamin as her No. 2.

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