BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Governor Kathy Hochul joined News 4’s Jacquie Walker via Zoom for an interview, following her victory over Lee Zeldin in Tuesday’s gubernatorial midterm election.

Gov. Hochul, a Buffalo native and the first woman to hold the office of New York governor, is now the first woman to be elected to the office as well. Hochul said while that is not the reason she ran, it brings her pride to be able to show every young person and every woman in the state that they can achieve their full potentials.

“I didn’t run to be the first of anything — the first woman or the first person from Buffalo since Grover Cleveland — I was running, really, just to improve people’s lives across the state,” she said. “But there is a significance, and it really means a lot to people all across the state, particularly the moms and dads who bring their daughters up to me and say, ‘You can be anything you want, because look — we have a woman governor.'”

Hochul said she spoke with Zeldin, who conceded Wednesday afternoon, around the time of his concession. Zeldin, who hails from Long Island, served as representative of the NY-1 district. The governor said she thanked Zeldin for his service to the state as a congressman.

The governor acknowledged that parties in power, in this case, the Democratic Party, are often challenged by midterm elections.

“There are national trends, and what’s going on nationally with inflation and people’s anxiety about the high cost of living — so I’m continuing to focus our efforts on driving down costs and making things more affordable, everything from housing to the cost of gasoline to utilities.”

She added that she will continue with efforts to improve public safety, saying that she is working with mayors, from Buffalo’s Byron Brown to New York’s Eric Adams, to make sure they have the resources to ensure the state’s streets our safe.

“We can make progress in certain areas, but as long as there is a single crime, that’s one crime too many,” she said.

Governor Hochul said her top priorities are not new, but rather, a continuation of ones she’s held in the past. Among those priorities: public safety, improving overall affordability and cost of living, and increasing housing stock and making it more affordable to live in New York.

“People want to live in this state, people want to be able to raise their kids in the towns and cities they grew up in, and we now have a real shortage of affordable housing,” she said. “Even in Buffalo, the rents are much higher, the cost of a new home is much higher…”

The full interview can be seen above.

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.

Jacquie Walker is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1983. See more of her work here.