NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One man knows better than anyone the challenge facing soon-to-be Gov. Kathy Hochul.

That would be former Gov. David Paterson, who took office after Eliot Spitzer resigned due to a prostitution scandal.

Paterson sat down with CBS2’s Tony Aiello on Wednesday.

“It was such a shock the day that it happened that it just … no one could believe it,” Paterson said.

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Paterson was an Albany veteran in 2008, wise to the curious and at times corrupt ways of the capital. Still, the sudden resignation of Spitzer and Paterson’s ascension to governor was head-spinning.

“I, myself, was not informed that the governor was going to resign until 45 minutes before he was actually going to do so,” Paterson said.

Thirteen years later, another governor has resigned and another lieutenant is succeeding under difficult circumstances. Paterson said he believes Hochul has some advantages. She has known since March that Andrew Cuomo‘s resignation or impeachment was a distinct possibility.

“She’s so well prepared anyway that I think she has not let these months and days go by without serious consideration to what she wants to accomplish,” Paterson said.

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Paterson took office in the middle of March, the height of state budget season.

“I had 13 days to pass a budget and I had not been part of the budget process at all, so it was very difficult,” Paterson said. “The advantage that Gov. Hochul is going to have over me is that the legislative system doesn’t start up until Jan. 1, so this is going to give her a lot of time to plan.”

Paterson was New York’s first Black governor. Hochul will be the state’s first female chief executive.

“Does being first carry any kind of special burden?” Aiello asked.

“Kathy Hochul is used to breaking barriers, and so this will just be a new and bigger job,” Paterson said.

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He also said he knows Hochul well and respects her immensely.

“She has a wonderful personality. She listens to people,” Paterson said.

When Aiello asked the former governor how he thinks history is going to remember Cuomo, he said nice things about Cuomo’s management of the pandemic, before concluding, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that’s what we saw in this particular situation.”

Paterson said he believes Hochul faces difficult circumstances, but is well-prepared and very much up to the challenge.

Cuomo is an admitted, notorious micro-manager. Paterson said he believes Hochul will be much more collaborative with department heads and legislators.

Tony Aiello