City & State reports:
Former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, while asserting his innocence on charges of corruption, said that he would “sign the necessary paperwork” to remove himself from the June 28 primary ballot. The comments, his first since his arrest and resignation, came as the state Legislature moved to approve a bill that would enable him to do just that.
In a short video posted to Twitter, Benjamin called his indictment “unfounded” and expressed confidence that the evidence will bear that out. “I fully expect to be exonerated of these false charges, and look forward to serving my community again when that time happens,” Benjamin said.
Something known as the Committee on Vacancies, established after the Democratic State Convention in February, will choose Hochul’s new running mate as early as Tuesday. That committee is headed by Democratic State Chair and Hochul ally, Jay Jacobs.
“Instead of focusing on the issues at hand, Kathy Hochul is focused on getting rid of her lieutenant governor candidate that she is not further embarrassed and trying to replace someone else,” said Democrat Tom Suozzi, who is challenging Hochul in next month’s primary.
The deadline for printing the ballots is in just two days, so the committee on vacancies does not have a lot of time to play with here. Asked on her way out the door who her new running mate would be, Hochul quipped, “I’m not going to tell you.”
A new law is imminent that would allow Benjamin to be removed from the ballot.
In his first public comments since his resignation, the former LG said that he would “sign whatever is necessary” to withdraw from the ballot. https://t.co/Rs24e9G9xJ
— City & State NY (@CityAndStateNY) May 2, 2022
After striking a deal late last week on a bill to remove Brian Benjamin’s name from the ballot, lawmakers in both chambers moved swiftly to pass it Monday in Albany. https://t.co/I9XCvldNIp
— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) May 2, 2022