Brian Benjamin Is Kathy Hochul’s Pick for N.Y. Lieutenant Governor

ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy C. Hochul has chosen Brian A. Benjamin, a Democratic state senator from Harlem, to be her lieutenant governor, the second highest-ranking place in New York State, in response to an individual acquainted with the choice.

Ms. Hochul, a Democrat from Western New York who was sworn in because the state’s first feminine governor on Tuesday, is predicted to announce the appointment later this week.

The collection of Mr. Benjamin, who’s Black, underscored Ms. Hochul’s try and diversify her ticket as she mounts her first marketing campaign for governor subsequent yr, selecting a possible working mate who may assist broaden her enchantment within the voter-heavy New York City area.

Mr. Benjamin is the senior assistant majority chief within the State Senate, the place he has been a vocal proponent of felony justice reforms. He ran unsuccessfully for metropolis comptroller earlier this yr, putting fourth in a crowded Democratic major.

Ms. Hochul’s workplace declined to remark. Mr. Benjamin, 44, who represents a big swath of Upper Manhattan, didn’t reply to a request for remark.

The lieutenant governor, a place that grew to become vacant on account of Ms. Hochul’s ascension after former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s resignation, has historically served a largely ceremonial function, entrusted with few statutory duties apart from the formality of serving as president of the State Senate.

Over the previous few weeks, Ms. Hochul had indicated that she supposed to pick somebody from New York City. Indeed, Ms. Hochul, who’s white, had approached a handful of metropolis politicians who’re folks of coloration, together with State Senator Jamaal Bailey, a rising star in Bronx politics; Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, the chief of Brooklyn’s Democratic Party; and Rubén Díaz Jr., the outgoing Bronx borough president.

A graduate of Brown University and Harvard University, Mr. Benjamin labored at Morgan Stanley and was a managing companion at Genesis Companies, an actual property agency with a concentrate on inexpensive housing, earlier than coming into politics.

In 2017, he ran for the State Senate seat vacated by Bill Perkins, who had gained a seat within the City Council. He emerged because the Democratic Party’s decide for the seat after a conference vote in March and went on to simply defeat his Republican opponent within the overwhelmingly blue district, assuming workplace that June.

As a senator, Mr. Benjamin has backed efforts to shut Rikers Island and supported laws on a variety of felony justice points, from ending money bail and reforming discovery to ending solitary confinement and reforming parole legal guidelines.

He has additionally sponsored payments to get banks to divest from non-public for-profit prisons and create a so-called “rainy day fund” that New York City may faucet into throughout fiscal emergencies.

Mr. Benjamin stated earlier this yr that he supported the defund the police motion.

“He’s bright, he’s intelligent and I think he’ll be a great pick,” stated Keith L.T. Wright, the chairman of the Democratic Party in Manhattan and a detailed pal of Mr. Benjamin’s who backed his Senate candidacy. “I’ve seen picks that have not been so great. I think he would be someone who would roll up his sleeves and get to work.”