Antonio Delgado along with Hakeem Jeffries and Steven Horsford
Sanders And Clinton Appeal To Latino Voters At Vegas Town Hall Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Democrat Antonio Delgado was officially sworn in as New York’s lieutenant governor on Wednesday, making him the state's first person of Latino heritage to serve in statewide office.

Delgado, who identifies as Afro-Latino, is taking on the significantly ceremonial role in the administration of Gov. Kathy Hochul, who selected him for the position. It was Brian Benjamin's previous role, however, he resigned after his arrest in April for federal corruption charges, which he has denied. Delgado, 45, is said to also be Hochul's running mate in this year's gubernatorial election.

According to Hochul’s speech during a ceremony in New York City before Delgado was sworn into office, she shares her views of what it means to be a public servant with Delgado. "It means being a good listener, but not just listening to people’s concerns passively, but translating those concerns into real action. That’s when public service manifests itself and achieves its full potential," she said.

Delgado was accompanied by his wife and their twin 8-year-old sons at the ceremony. He gave a short speech saying his "path to politics was not meticulously plotted out." Delgado is a Rhodes Scholar, after earning a Harvard law degree he chased a rap career before officially becoming a litigator at a New York City law firm. "I heard some chuckles out there," he said as he recounted his foray into hip hop scene. "I followed my heart. Like I’m doing now."

According to Delgado, though he tried two different careers, in two very different environments, a diversity of experience will help in his future endeavors. "As leaders we need to listen and work hard and find common ground and be effective. That's my commitment," he said.

The two-term Congressman then also spoke about the tragic shooting at an elementary school in Texas on Tuesday. He believed nothing was being done on the national level to protect and secure children. "The very fabric of our nation is on the line," he said. Delgado represented the Hudson Valley and the Catskills and was the first person of color representing upstate New York in Congress. He had campaigned for the United States House on universal access to Medicare, creating fine jobs and eliminating tax loopholes for the rich.

Delgado, who grew up in Schenectady and lives in Rhinebeck, left the Congress to work hand in hand with Hochul's administration. It comes in an election year in which the state's congressional maps were redrawn as part of the decennial redistricting process. The timing followed a dual-track process to replace Delgado.

A special election would be held for his previous House seat, New York's 19th Congressional District, on Aug. 23. The newly appointed will be holding office for the rest of the year. However that same day, the state will set a primary election for Congress under the new political maps, which adjusted boundaries and political matchups throughout the state.

Antonio Delgado
Antonio Delgado speaks during The Bronx Museum Of The Arts 50th Anniversary Gala at Guastavino's on May 10, 2022 in New York City. Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage

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