It remains unclear whether Mr. Mujica will remain in the Hochul administration, but he has worked closely with some of Ms. Hochul’s recently recruited staffers, including her transition director, Marissa Shorenstein, and her counsel, Elizabeth Fine.
State Senator Jessica Ramos, a Democrat from Queens, who has met with Ms. Hochul three times since Mr. Cuomo announced his resignation, including at a private meeting Ms. Hochul held with Latino legislators on Thursday, said Ms. Hochul had a “completely different and distinct approach to government.”
The outreach by Ms. Hochul, who represented a Republican-leaning district in Congress and is regarded as a Democratic centrist, was noteworthy.
“That goes to show, because, ideologically, I would argue I’m actually much more closely aligned with Cuomo than Hochul,” said Ms. Ramos, a member of the party’s left wing. “Unfortunately, her predecessor had chosen to isolate himself and hardly interacted with New Yorkers, whereas Kathy Hochul clearly likes people, and wants to talk to people and walks our streets to do so.”
Before Ms. Hochul ordered a universal mask mandate in schools statewide — a divisive issue that Mr. Cuomo was seen as wanting to avoid and had left up to school districts — she held an hourlong Zoom meeting to hear from teachers, school boards, superintendents and parent-teacher associations statewide.
Andrew Pallotta, president of the New York State United Teachers union, who was on the call, said Ms. Hochul had “opened up lines of communication,” describing her approach as “a breath of fresh air.”
“You can’t ask for more,” Mr. Pallotta said. “It wasn’t, ‘Let me get somebody to be on this call, and then they’ll get back to me and we’ll put 12 committees together.’ It wasn’t that way at all. It was, ‘Here’s the person leading the state actually listening and responding.’”