MELVILLE, N.Y. — In Kathy Hochul's first public appearance since she was added to Gov. Cuomo's ticket, the former Congresswoman focused a lot on Western New York.
"I was so proud to represent the counties of Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Wyoming and Orleans counties," Hochul said.
They're spots Hochul represented in Washington, but places Andrew Cuomo mostly lost the last time around to Republican Carl Paladino. He doesn't want to do that again to Rob Astorino.
Enter Hochul. Expect her to repeatedly mention the billion dollars given to Buffalo in the 2012 budget.
"The Buffalo Billion is up there in the hearts and minds of Western New Yorkers like the Sabres, the Bills, chicken wings - you don't mess with this stuff, okay," she said.
Hochul's also resisted ideas that have taken hold downstate. In 2007, responding to then-Governor Spitzer's plan to give drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants, she threatened to have those trying to sign up subject to arrest and deportation. Running for Congress four years later, Hochul put it in her first TV ad.
Cuomo hasn't weighed in on the issue one way or the other.
"Obviously now she's at a state position, and having to represent the state - and I think that there's progress that can be made," said Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, D-New York City, who introduced Hochul.