Republican Lee Zeldin, despite a strong climb in polls, was unsuccessful in his bid to unseat Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday, Nov. 8, following a campaign largely focused on addressing surging crime rates in New York State.
According to the New York State Board of Elections, with 13,378 or 14,296 election districts reporting as of 2:30 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, Hochul leads with 52.16 percent of the vote to Zeldin’s 47.02 percent.
Hochul took to the stage in a packed downtown Manhattan watch party at around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, while votes were still being tallied, to celebrate her victory.
“The glass ceiling like the one that’s above us here today has finally been shattered in the state of New York, and you made it happen,” she told a crowd of supporters.
By 12:30 a.m. early Wednesday morning, Hochul led Zeldin 54 percent to 46 percent with 81 percent of the votes counted. Her election was driven largely by a strong showing in New York City.
Zeldin has initially declined to concede, given that there were still 1.4 million votes to be counted, particularly in areas where he was expected to do well, Suffolk County and Long Island where he is from and serves as a congressman. But in the afternoon, he acknowledged Hochul’s victory.
“It’s going to be a little frustrating for members of the media who didn’t ever want us to be in contention here in New York,” Zeldin told a crowd of supporters at the Cipriani’s ballroom in midtown Manhattan Tuesday night, Politico reported.
There hasn’t been a Republican governor in New York State since George Pataki beat Democrat Carl McCall in 2002 with 49.4 percent of the vote compared to McCall’s 33.50 percent.
In 2018, Democrat Andrew Cuomo won his Governor race with 59.62 percent of the vote compared to 36.21 percent for Republican Marc Molinaro.
Zeldin’s performance in this election was the strongest opposition Democrats in New York — a Democrat stronghold — have had to contend with in a generation.
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Schumer keeps Democrat senate seat
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer walked away Tuesday night with a decisive win over his Republican opponent Joe Pinion.
According to the New York State Board of Elections, on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern, with around 93 percent of election districts reporting, Schumer led with 55.05 percent of the vote compared to Pinion’s 42.54 percent.
This will be Schumer’s fifth term in the Senate, making him New York’s longest-serving senator; however his position as majority leader remains unclear as votes in key Senate races across the country continue to be counted. He also faces the prospect of a Republican-controlled Congress.
In his victory speech, Schumer told a crowd of supporters, “I promise to all of you here tonight, and all 20 million New Yorkers whom it is my honor to represent, I will keep fighting. I will keep this fight up for as long as it takes to win. Onward to victory Democrats!”
Pinion, following the official launch of his campaign earlier this year, came out swinging, blasting Schumer saying he is responsible for making it more dangerous to live in Rochester N.Y., than it is to live in Chicago, saying that Rochester is the “epicenter for crime in this nation.”
At a press conference on Oct. 11 Pinion argued, “We have seen communities devastated, starting with the three most dangerous words ever uttered in modern politics, ‘defund the police,’” adding that, “We’ve seen an Asian community who has had to live in a cocoon of fear because of people like Chuck Schumer turning a blind eye to the undeniable crisis that we see all around us.”
In their debate last month, Pinion said Schumer was formenting political violence and was part of a Democratic regime that has caused inflation to soar and illegal immigration to spiral out of control.
At the debate, hosted by Union College in Schenectady, Pinion told Schumer, “You bring home the bacon, sure – but many people’s bellies are empty.”