N.Y. Today: A new lieutenant governor

What you need to know for Wednesday.

Good morning. It's Wednesday. We'll meet the man Gov. Kathy Hochul has chosen to be the new lieutenant governor. We'll also check on how a federal rule about light bulbs will make New York look a little different.

Monica Jorge for The New York Times

"Upstate, downstate, doesn't matter," said Representative Antonio Delgado, above, who grew up in Schenectady, N.Y., and now lives in Rhinebeck, N.Y. — places many people in the five boroughs would consider upstate. "We all want the same things: security, family and opportunity."

The immediate opportunity for him is a new job, as lieutenant governor. It means leaving Congress, a prospect that compounded the anxiety for Democrats already worried about losing control of the House after the midterm elections this fall. He was facing a difficult fight for re-election in a district that was likely to be more competitive than the one on the Democratic-drawn map struck down by the state's highest court last week.

My colleagues Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Nicholas Fandos write that Delgado, 45, has shown that he can win contested elections, raise large sums of money and appeal to a broad range of voters. On Tuesday a special state committee moved to add his name to the primary ballot as the favored Democratic candidate in the June primary, replacing former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, who resigned last month after federal prosecutors in Manhattan unsealed bribery charges.


Hochul chose Benjamin, a Black former state senator from Harlem, last summer when she ascended to the governor's office following former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's resignation. A Buffalo native, she had been the lieutenant governor for slightly more than six and a half years. Like Delgado, she had served in Congress.

Before settling on Delgado, Hochul and her team also considered Eric Gonzalez, the Brooklyn district attorney, and Vincent Alvarez, the president of the New York City Central Labor Council, as well as other Latino candidates, according to two people familiar with the process.

Delgado, a former corporate lawyer who is Black, said on Tuesday that he said he was well positioned to represent the city along with the rest of the state. And as a prospective running mate, he offered Hochul considerable political attributes, including twice winning one of the most competitive swing districts in the country and fending off Republican opponents who branded him a "big-city rapper."

He also proved to be a prolific fund-raiser. He has nearly $6 million in his House campaign account, money he can spend on a lieutenant governor's campaign.


In Congress, Delgado has largely avoided the partisan fights that dominate cable news; he rarely speaks with reporters. In the primary for lieutenant governor, he will face two opponents, both Latina women: Diana Reyna, a former member of the New York City Council, and Ana María Archila, a progressive activist. His centrist credentials, paired with institutional party support, could allow him to push Reyna out of the moderate lane she was looking to occupy.


Prepare for showers and a possible thunderstorms early in the day, with temps in the mid-60s. At night, there's a chance of showers with temps in the mid-50s.


Suspended today (Eid al-Fitr).

State lawmakers promise to protect access to abortion

Reacting to the leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, Democratic leaders in Albany said they were working to make New York a safe haven for women seeking reproductive care.


The State Senate majority leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, said that it was "an outrage that the Supreme Court is poised to reverse the rights of women in this country" and that she expected to pass legislation to reaffirm abortion rights before the end of the session.

If the court overturns the 49-year-old decision, New York and other states with strong support for abortion rights could see a rush of people from states that have banned abortions. State Senator Liz Krueger of Manhattan has introduced a bill to protect New York doctors who treat those patients by prohibiting law enforcement from cooperating with out-of-state investigations of abortion cases.

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The look of light

Alex Wroblewski for The New York Times

Lights always shine brightly in New York, and a lot of them are old-fashioned incandescent lights — the roundish bulbs with filaments in the middle that Thomas Edison would recognize.

Some New Yorkers don't want to give them up.

"The government is trying to get us not to sell them," said David Brooks, the owner of Just Bulbs, a store on the East Side of Manhattan that carries — well, you figure it out. "There's really no good reason why you shouldn't want to switch to LED, but a lot of customers are dinosaurs."

Selling incandescent bulbs, which are less energy efficient than LEDs, is just "giving them what they're asking for," Brooks said, adding that he had "scrounged the corners of the earth to find the old bulbs people want."

His scrounging may become more difficult before long. Last week the Biden administration adopted energy-efficiency standards that would phase out most incandescent bulbs — the familiar household ones, anyway — next year. There are exceptions for many of the so-called specialty bulbs that Brooks keeps in stock.

LEDs already illuminate much of New York, just as they illuminate much of the country. The Department of Citywide Administrative Services does not use incandescent bulbs in the 55 city-owned buildings — City Hall among them. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is converting fluorescent bulbs on station platforms to LEDs. It is also preparing to "transition" light banks for track workers in tunnels to LEDs, a spokesman said.

The move away from incandescents has been going on for years — a decade ago, The New York Times said decorators were "laying in light bulbs like canned goods," buying large quantities because they were not happy with the light from LEDs.

"They were quite harsh when they first came out," said Catherine Zuber, the costume designer for such productions as "Mrs. Doubtfire" on Broadway and the Metropolitan Opera's current "Rigoletto."

Now, she said, "They're so much better than they were." She recalled working on the musical "The Bridges of Madison County" in 2014 and having trouble getting the wigs to look just right. "You thought you had a nice medium range" of color, she recalled, "and it looked much darker onstage."

The theatrical lighting designer Philip Rosenberg said the challenge was to "recreate the look of what we've been used to."

"In theaters it's so important how skin reacts with light," he said. "LED often pushes red in a way that is not so flattering to actors. You have to keep an eye on your equipment and make sure you have mixed your colors in such a way that you are being kind to skin tones. With incandescent, you would put gels in front of lights to find more flattering tones for a certain actor. Now you mix it on a computer."

LEDs have also made museum curators take a fresh look at paintings they know well. Amy Nelson, the design manager for lighting design at the Metropolitan Museum, said she had reconsidered the painting "The Gulf Stream" after lighting it for the current show "Winslow Homer: Crosscurrents"

From lighting it in the past, she had counted two or three sharks in the water. Seeing it under LEDs, she wondered if there might be two or three more.


Regular, a play in one short act

Dear Diary:

A gas station convenience store, Staten Island. Summer. The present.

TOM, a man in his mid-50s, approaches the counter, where ATTENDANT, a man about 30 years younger, stands behind the cash register, staring at his cellphone. TOM takes out his wallet.

Thirty dollars, unleaded.


It says "unleaded," but I guess, yeah … regular.

ATTENDANT stares at TOM, who hands him two twenties. ATTENDANT rings up the sale.

You know, there used to be regular and unleaded. Now, when you say regular, you mean unleaded. Regular unleaded. As opposed to plus or premium. Though it's marked "unleaded" on the pump … Regular, back in the day, I suppose, was leaded, even if it didn't say so.


You're too young to remember that.

TOM starts toward the door.


TOM turns. ATTENDANT reaches out a $10 bill. TOM takes it.


(Lights fade.)

— Tom Diriwachter

Glad we could get together here. See you tomorrow. — J.B.

Melissa Guerrero, Jeff Boda and Ed Shanahan contributed to New York Today. You can reach the team at nytoday@nytimes.com.

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