He defeated Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin, an ally of Donald Trump who campaigned on fear of violent crime
Democrat Kathy Hochul became the first woman elected to govern New York. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)
Democrat Kathy Hochul became the first woman elected as governor of New York, winning outright the position he assumed in 2021 when former Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned.
He defeated Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin, an ally of Donald Trump who campaigned on fear of violent crime.
“Tonight they made their voices heard loud and clear. And, furthermore, they made me the first woman elected to be governor of the state of New York. But I'm not here to make history, I'm here to make a difference,” Hochul told her supporters on Tuesday night.
“I have felt a weight on my shoulders to make sure that every girl and every woman in the state who has had to hit glass ceilings everywhere, knows that a woman can be elected in her own right and successfully rule a state as rough and tough as New York.”
Hochul, a native of Buffalo, was expected to win in a state where there are more than twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans. New Yorkers haven't elected a Republican Governor since George Pataki , who won a third termin 2002. But Zeldin made the race competitive, closing in on Hochul in recent weeks and seeming to goad her into talking more about public safety.
He defeated Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin, a Donald Trump ally who campaigned on fear of violent crime. (REUTERS)
“It has been a battle in which we have focused on ideals. We have carried our message without apology or regret,” Zeldin said at his election night party on Tuesday. He took the stage before The Associated Press concluded the race.
Hochul's formidable campaign fundraiser allowed him to buy TV ads presenting themselves as a defender of abortion rights and describing Zeldin as “extreme and dangerous” because of her ties to Trump and her vote against the certification of the 2020 election results.
As a nod to the story Hochul hoped to make as the first woman to be elected governor, she appeared at a rally days before the election with Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman to be elected to the second highest office in the country, and with Hillary Clinton, the first woman to be a major party presidential candidate and the first female senator from New York.
Although Hochul has been governor for a year, she is not as well known as her predecessor. (REUTERS)
Hochul is among eight women to have won statewide elections in New York, a group she initially joined when she was elected lieutenant governor in 2014. She became the first woman to serve as governor when she took over from Cuomo.
The journey of Hochul it was altered in recent weeks when the race narrowed. Democrats faced headwinds across the country, which normally bears the brunt of voter frustrations. This year, those frustrations include persistent inflation and a shaky economy, but in New York, concerns over crime took precedence.
Although Hochul has been governor for a year, she is not as well known as her predecessor.
A former congresswoman, she was Cuomo's lieutenant governor before taking office in August 2021 and has tried to cast herself as a fresh start for Cuomo. He resigned amid accusations of sexual harassment, which he denies.
Hochul's trajectory was altered in recent weeks as the race narrowed. Democrats faced headwinds across the country, which normally bears the brunt of voter frustrations. This year, those frustrations include persistent inflation and a shaky economy, but in New York, concerns about crime took precedence. (REUTERS)
The Hochul campaign raised more than 50 million dollars, about double what Zeldin reported, but outside groups spent big in the race — especially two outside groups that push Zeldin that took about $9 million from Estée Lauder heir Ronald Lauder.
< p class="paragraph">Zeldin is an Army Reserve lieutenant colonel who has represented East Long Island in Congress since 2015 and who was a strong supporter of Trump during both of his impeachments.
As a gubernatorial candidate, Zeldin tried to sidestep his ties to Trump, appearing with the former president at a fundraiser of the campaign behind closed doors, but not at any public rally, as other candidates have done. He brushed off reporters' questions after Trump endorsed him, saying it “shouldn't have made the news” because the former president had previously endorsed him
(With information from The Associated Press)