Politics

Rep. Antonio Delgado Named NY Lieutenant Gov, Replaces Democrat Who Was Indicted

Screenshot via YouTube/Antonio Delgado

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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Democratic New York Rep. Antonio Delgado is leaving Congress to serve as his state’s lieutenant governor, Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday.

Delgado, currently serving his second term in the House of Representatives, will replace former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, who resigned in April after the FBI arrested him on fraud charges related to alleged campaign finance violations. Delgado will be the eighth member of the 117th Congress to resign without completing the full term, and the fifth Democrat to do so. Forty-seven other representatives, including 30 Democrats, will retire after the current term.

I am proud to announce I am appointing Congressman Antonio Delgado, an outstanding leader and public servant, as Lieutenant Governor of New York. I look forward to working with him to usher in a new era of fairness, equity, and prosperity for communities across the State,” Hochul tweeted. (RELATED: Kathy Hochul Sworn In As New York’s First Female Governor As Cuomo Leaves In Disgrace)

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.

Hochul appointed Benjamin to the number two executive position in September, shortly after she replaced disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Benjamin, then a state senator, was already facing a federal investigation related to his failed run for New York City comptroller. Gerald Migdol, a Harlem-based real estate investor, used straw donors to allow Benjamin to access campaign matching funds, the Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged. He is charged with one count of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of identity theft.

Benjamin was aware of Migdol’s efforts, the DOJ alleges, and even encouraged and coordinated them. He is charged with one count of federal program bribery, one count of honest services wire fraud, one count of conspiracy and two counts of falsification of records. Benjamin has repeatedly denied the charges and pleaded not guilty.

The New York state legislature passed a bill on Monday allowing candidates that have been charged with crimes to be removed from ballots. Although Benjamin resigned his position April 12, New York state law previously required nominated candidates to remain on the ballot unless they moved, died or were nominated to another office, according to The New York Times.

The National Republican Congressional Committee designated Delgado as a vulnerable incumbent in 2o21, with his 19th District targeted for a GOP pickup. A congressional map passed by the state legislature making his district lean four points to the left was thrown out April 27 by the New York Court of Appeals.