New York's last three governors, all Democrats, left office amid scandal

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It’s been 15 years since a New York governor left office without a scandal – and just as long since a Republican has held the job.

Former Gov. George Pataki, who unseated then-Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1995, left office at the end of 2006.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a former attorney general, defeated Republican candidate John Faso that year, then resigned in 2008 after a scandal involving a high-priced prostitution ring.

(Getty Images/AP/Getty Images)

His replacement, former Lt. Gov. David Patterson, called off his campaign for a full term in office in 2010 amid allegations that his administration improperly intervened after a woman accused one of his close aides of domestic violence.

And Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the son of Mario Cuomo and another former attorney general, announced his resignation Tuesday afternoon following a damning investigation into sexual harassment allegations leveled by 11 women.

In this April 17, 2015 file photo, former Gov., N.Y., George Pataki speaks in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

Current New York Attorney General Letitia James released the results of the probe last week. It alleged that the governor had groped women’s breasts or buttocks, given them unwanted kisses and made inappropriate comments on subordinates’ sex lives. State lawmakers had been discussing impeachment prior to the resignation announcement, and the governor may face the possibility of criminal charges as well.

“Today closes a sad chapter for all of New York, but it’s an important step towards justice,” James said in a statement after Cuomo’s announcement.

He will be replaced by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a former congresswoman. She will become the state’s first female governor and, notably, she is a moderate from western New York and far removed from New York City’s progressive wing.

She called Cuomo’s alleged behavior “repulsive and unlawful” in a statement last week and has said she believes the outgoing governor’s accusers.

Cuomo, who has denied wrongdoing, said Tuesday his resignation would take effect in 14 days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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