NEW YORK — Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday said she wants office workers back at their desks by early next year.

"We need to bring people back to work, particularly to their offices right here in Midtown," Hochul said as she addressed business leaders in Midtown Manhattan at a breakfast meeting of the Association for a Better New York.

“We connect people to jobs and address the racial disparities, and the barriers to people’s success," she added. 

Hochul said returning to the office is essential to both the city and state's economies, and will help fuel recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor said she plans to work with Mayor-elect Eric Adams to address crime, gun violence and homelessness — issues that must be addressed to make the city vibrant again.

Hochul also made some of her most overtly political comments since taking over as governor in August, telling the mostly-friendly audience: “I will win this primary.” 

She was referring to next June's Democratic primary for governor. Hochul is now facing challenges from at least two opponents: Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who announced this week he is running, and State Attorney General Letitia James, who announced her candidacy last month.