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Kathy Hochul visits NY State Fair for the first time as governor

Gov. Kathy Hochul made her first stop to the New York State Fair in her new role Sunday.

Hochul unveiled and dedicated a monument to the men and women who have lost their lives keeping the state’s highways safe, before taking a tour of the Fairgrounds.

She made many stops on her tour, including the New York State Police exhibit, the Horticulture Building, where she bought maple cotton candy, the Dairy Building, where she drank milk and viewed the butter sculpture, the sand sculpture in the Expo Center, and the Pan-African Village.

Of course, she also made time to try out a timeless fair favorite food: the sausage sandwich. It was a big moment for Jeff DiGeorge, owner of Basilio’s Sausage Stand, who is thrilled to be back at the fair and meeting the new governor.

"Oh it's super. It's really great, we're just excited," said DiGeorge.

Hochul said she has been to the fair many times before, but for her, this visit as governor is emotional.

"I'm just humbled by the responsibilities that have been entrusted to me, and I'm excited about the opportunities to do good for the people of New York, and it's that simple," said Hochul.

Hochul said two of her priorities going forward are rent relief and the fight against COVID-19. She also wants to earn back the trust of New Yorkers through actions like revising sexual harassment policies and releasing more thorough information about state COVID-19 deaths.

"The information (about COVID-19 deaths) has always been there, but it also reflects our desire to get out as much information as possible, so I think that's a signal just within the first few days of my administration that things are going to be different," said Hochul.

Diane Torrence greeted the governor at the fair’s disabled veterans booth and said she likes Hochul’s work so far.

"It shouldn't be, we need a man or a woman,” said Torrence. “(We need) a person that's going to make a change. I don't care what their sex is. If you have a heart to serve the people, and that's what you do, I'm for you."

That’s what Hochul said she hopes to do, bring more transparency and accountability to Albany.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.