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NY Gov. Hochul picks US congressman for new lieutenant governor, narrowing Pelosi’s majority

Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul selected Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-N.Y., to serve as lieutenant governor on Tuesday, shrinking the already-slim Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.

Hochul was sworn in to replace disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year, and her previous lieutenant governor, Brian Benjamin, resigned in April following a corruption and bribery scandal. Delgado is a lawyer and former rapper who was first elected to Congress in 2018.

WHAT ARE THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE CHARGES THAT FORCED NY LT GOV BENJAMIN TO RESIGN?

“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. “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. With Antonio Delgado by my side serving as Lieutenant Governor, we will both make history – and make a difference.”

FILE - Rep-elect Antonio Delgado, D-N.Y., reads to children as (Bottom Row, L-R) House Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Speaker-designate Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., look on during the first session of the 116th Congress at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 3, 2019 in Washington. 

Delgado attended Harvard Law School and worked at the Akin Gump law firm prior to gaining office. Gump was ranked the largest lobbying firm in the country by revenue in 2017, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

FILE — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, accompanied by Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, left, speaks during ceremonies in the governor's office, in New York, Sept. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Delgado also pursued a career as a rapper in the 2000s under the name “AD the Voice.” Divisive lyrics became a sticking point in his 2018 campaign against then-incumbent Republican Rep. John Faso.

“Dead presidents can’t represent me, not when most of them believe in white supremacy/like spittin’ on my ancestry,” he says in one of his songs.

Delgado pushed back on criticism of his work during the campaign, which he ultimately won.

“This is a willful and selective misreading of my work for political purposes,” Delgado said at the time. “My music defies the same stereotypical notions that led you and whoever chose to share this music with you to immediately hear certain words and think they are bad or scary. If you listen to the content of the lyrics my mission is clear.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi currently resides over a slim Democratic majority in the chamber, with 221 Democrats and 209 Republicans. Delgado’s departure will make that majority even more slim leading into the 2022 midterm elections, which Republicans are expected to benefit from most.

There are also five vacancies in the chamber, and four are expected to be replaced with Republicans.

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