Hochul faces a lot of challenges in a shortened term

Governor-in-waiting Kathy Hochul takes office next week. And she has a long list of major issues to tackle, Democratic strategist Basil Smikle said.

"Marijuana for example — it's been legalized but there's really no process in place to get people licensed, to talk about distribution," he said. "Congestion pricing — are we going to do it and how's that going to work? "Everything related to education — whether it's funding and support for charter schools, mask mandates."

And, Smikle added, "The funding, support, and resources for the MTA."

He believes Hochul will be productive getting things accomplished with state lawmakers.

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"I think she'll get a lot done because she has a lot of goodwill going into the job," he said.

Hochul has announced she is selecting a lieutenant governor from New York City. She is not well-known south of Westchester County and she needs someone from downstate.

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Smikle said a person of color would help balance her ticket when she runs for governor in 2022.

"The city and the country are becoming far more diverse," he said, citing the latest census data. "Having a person of color on her ticket really helps."

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