In New York, key races on Nov. 8 were for U.S. House seats from – on the grid left to right – Districts 18, 19 and 22, and the governor’s race. Respectively in the grid, those candidates are Pat Ryan and Colin Schmitt (bottom) in NY18, Josh Riley and Marc Molinaro (bottom) in NY19, Francis Conole and Brandon Williams (bottom) in NY22, and Gov. Kathy Hochul and U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (bottom) for governor.
By Steve Bittenbender and John Anderson, Special to the Sun
Three New York congressional races went to the wire past midnight even with more than 90% of the votes tallied, and Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul retained her seat in Albany with a win over U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin.
The battle for control of Congress still loomed as votes were counted early Wednesday in congressional districts 18, 19 and 22.
In the 23rd District, voters in Allegany and Steuben counties voted strongly to help Nick Langworthy win the congressional seat over max Della Pia, 67.1 percent to 32.9.
In Allegany County, Langworthy received his most support with 76 percent of the votes. In Steuben County, 72 percent of the voters supported Langworthy.
Of the seven counties in the 23rd Congressional District, the only other county with over 70 percent support for Langworthy was Cattaraugus at 71 percent.
In the 22nd District, Republican Brandon Williams led Democrat Francis Conole 50.3% to 49.7% with 84% of the precincts reporting.
In the 19th, GOP candidate Marc Molinaro led Democrat Josh Riley by 51.1% to 48.9% with 96% of precincts reporting.
In the 18th, U.S. Rep. Pat Ryan was clinging to a 50.4% to 49.6% lead over Republican Colin Schmitt with 93% of the votes counted. If that holds, it would be Ryan’s first full term after winning a special election in August over Molinaro.
Hochul was up 53.3% to 46.7% on Zeldin with more than 5.2 million votes counted and 87% of the precincts reporting. The Associated Press had not called the race at 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, but others did earlier: NBC after 11 p.m. Politico just before 11:30 p.m., and both FOXNews and CNN just before midnight.
Minutes after the Politico announcement, Hochul took to the stage at her Election Night party in Manhattan to claim victory. She became the first woman ever elected to New York’s top executive position.
“I’m not here to make history,” she told the cheering crowd. “I’m here to make a difference.”
A Buffalo native, Hochul began serving as lieutenant governor under former Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2015. She became governor on Aug. 24, 2021, when Cuomo resigned after an independent investigation found multiple sexual harassment allegations against him to be credible.
She served a term in the U.S. House of Representatives after winning a special election in May 2011 and was Erie County Clerk for four years before that.
After succeeding Cuomo, she vowed to clean up the Executive Mansion and run a transparent administration. As the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade earlier this year, Hochul made defending access to an abortion a cornerstone of her campaign.
Zeldin, who represented Long Island in the House, made crime and public safety a central part of his platform in hopes of swaying enough Democrat-heavy New York City voters to back the GOP.
However, Hochul dominated in the nation’s largest city, beating Zeldin by nearly 7 of 10 voters among 1.7 million votes cast. Overall, it could be the closest gubernatorial election in New York since 1994 when Republican George Pataki then upset then-Gov. Mario Cuomo 48.8% 45.5%.