Gov. Kathy Hochul officially announces Harlem State Sen. Brian Benjamin as her choice to serve alongside her as lieutenant governor.

The announcement was made at a press conference on Thursday at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building Plaza. Rev. Al Sharpton and NAACP New York State Conference President Hazel Dukes joined Benjamin on stage.

Reports began surfacing on Wednesday that Hochul selected Benjamin for the job. During Thursday’s official announcement, Hochul said Benjamin was the right choice because of his connections to the community.

“My administration is going to attract the best and the brightest — people who share my values of working hard for the people of this state and who will get the job done – and that includes the newest member Senator Brian Benjamin who has agreed to serve as my Lieutenant Governor,” she said. “There is so much work to do, and I am grateful to have him by my side as we implement our vision for a safer, healthier and fairer New York.”

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Benjamin thanked his native Harlem community and pledged to work with Hochul on issues plaguing the city and state including the COVID-19 pandemic, homelessness, violence and affordable housing.

“We need each other to pursue our dreams, to pursue what we are here to do,” Benjamin said. “So many young kids who are walking down 125th Street right now need to know that this world is here for them and we need to help them take it. Government has to help them take it. Our community needs government to work, and that’s what we will do for the state of New York.”

Benjamin will be sworn into office during a ceremony in September after Labor Day. Hochul said there are plans to have a special election fill his senate seat during the General Election in November.