No longer having to answer questions about whether she’ll even be the candidate in the fall, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul appeared to officially transition to campaign speech during a press availability Tuesday in Buffalo. Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, essentially squashed any remaining speculation about Hochul’s future saying she was his choice as a running mate.

On Monday, Hochul made her case for why four more years of the current administration should be the choice of New York voters.

“You need someone who’s been around,” she said. “People who understand the challenges but continue the rebirth of places like Upstate New York that previous administrations could not find on a map.”

The lieutenant governor touted the administration’s record on unemployment, job and business growth and tax reduction. She did admit to some challenges, although she planted the blame on another level of government.

“We have some challenges and you want an experienced team like Governor Cuomo and myself to fight back the onslaught of attacks from places like Washington on our healthcare system and our tax system,” Hochul said.

Criticizing the federal tax bill may be a risky political move right now as reports come in of paycheck bumps across the state and the country, but Hochul argued the good vibes will be fleeting in New York.

“Everyone who’s seeing more money in their paycheck, we are happy for them,” she said. “This is a good thing, but come next spring, when people file their taxes, a lot of people in this state are going to find out that when they can no longer deduct state and local taxes, they’re going to take a hit.”

Many observers believed Cuomo brought the Buffalo-native on four years ago, at least in part, to help him secure Erie County, something he didn’t do while running against Buffalo developer Carl Paladino in 2010. Hochul indicated she and the governor continue to tout the resurgence of the city as they travel around the state.

“It’s something we’re very proud of. We’re going to keep the momentum forward and we hope to be reelected in November,” she said.