Fact Check: Could a Republican Replace Andrew Cuomo if he Leaves Office?

Amid allegations of covering up nursing home COVID deaths and three sexual harassment claims, many lawmakers have called for New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign or be impeached.

The Claim

Some claimed that the calls for Cuomo to step down is a strategy to find a Republican replacement that will pardon former President Donald Trump, who faces tax and insurance fraud probes in New York.

It's occurred to me that Republicans want Cuomo out so they can replace him with a Gov who could pardon Trump for state crimes.

— Chip Franklin InsideTheBeltway.com (@chipfranklin) March 4, 2021

The Facts

According to the New York State Constitution, Article IV, Section 5, the lieutenant governor is next in line if the governor is removed, impeached or resigns. The lieutenant governor will serve as governor for the remainder of the elected term.

The current lieutenant governor is Kathy Hochul, a Democrat.

If Cuomo were to resign, a scenario he recently dismissed, Hochul would serve as governor for the remainder of the term. She would be the first woman to hold the office in New York.

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo makes clear that he is not going to resign.

"I am not going to resign," the governor says, adding that he is going to continue to "do the job the people of the state elected me to do."

— Dan Merica (@merica) March 3, 2021

The next New York gubernatorial election for governor and lieutenant governor will take place in November 2022.

It is uncertain when the state's investigation into Trump will conclude or if the former president will be criminally charged.

Cuomo first was elected in 2010 and was re-elected twice. He has not confirmed if he will run for a fourth term.

While the election is more than a year away, some people have compiled shortlists of both Democratic and Republican challengers.

Reps. Lee Zeldin, Tom Reed, Elise Stefanik all contemplating 2022 challenge to NY Gov. Cuomo - https://t.co/VBOFKc1pdx

— Reid Wilson (@PoliticsReid) February 22, 2021

The lists include Republican Representatives Tom Reed, Lee Zeldin and Elise Stefanik and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

On the Democratic side, there is Attorney General Letitia James, Hochul, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Westchester County Senator Alessandra Biaggi.

I have seen sufficient evidence to conclude that, beyond a reasonable doubt, the Governor's behavior represents a pattern of abuse that deems him unfit for office. Governor Cuomo must resign.

Read my full statement here: pic.twitter.com/55XBOMYXFa

— James Skoufis (@JamesSkoufis) March 3, 2021

The Ruling


If Cuomo were to resign or be impeached, Lieutenant Governor Hochul would take over as governor. She is a Democrat.

A Republican could become governor if he or she wins the next gubernatorial election in 2022.

Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been accused of sexually harassing three women, including two former employees. Here, Cuomo speaks during his daily press briefing on May 1, 2020, in Albany, New York. Stefani Reynolds/Getty
False: The claim is demonstrably false. Primary source evidence proves the claim to be false.
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