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Hochul, Delgado Sail to Victory; Zeldin Clinches GOP Primary

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By: Gary Tilzer & Fern Sidman

Hochul secured the Democratic nomination for New York governor Tuesday, according to a Spectrum News projection, in a first step to securing a full term of her own. Hochul outpaced her two primary opponents and set her up for a general election race against the eventual Republican nominee

Spectrum News also reported that Hochul served as lieutenant governor during the Gov. Andrew Cuomo administration and is now seeking her first full-term after assuming office in August. She is the first woman to serve as governor in New York.

The onetime Western New York congresswoman navigated delayed budget negotiations to secure victories on some of her major policy priorities, earned national recognition for signing major abortion protections and gun control legislation into law in recent months, and weathered the arrest and resignation of her first lieutenant governor, Brian Benjamin, according to an NY1.com report.

As of 9:30 pm on Tuesday, with only 16% of the vote counted, Hochul had a hefty lead against her opponents, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi. She had 65% of the vote as opposed to 22.2 for Williams and 12.8% for Suozzi.

Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., answers a question during a debate before the New York governor primary, at the studios of WNBC4-TV, June 16, 2022, in New York. New Yorkers are casting votes in a governor’s race Tuesday, June 28, 2022, that for the first time in a decade does not include the name “Cuomo” at the top of the ticket. (Craig Ruttle/Pool via AP, File)

The low turnout is the big story in the 2022 primary race.  In the city half of the mayor’s primary vote turn-out between 10-15%. Manhattan – 108,469, Bronx – 42,813, Brooklyn – 116,360, Queens – 80,473, Staten Island – 21,023. Total Voting Check-Ins on Primary Day 369,138. 86,890 turnout in early voting 2%. And as of Friday, 100,000 mailed in ballots.

Hochul easily beat Jumaane D. Williams, the left-leaning New York City public advocate, and Representative Thomas R. Suozzi, a centrist who has attacked Ms. Hochul for doing too little to address elevated crime. With 89% of the vote in Hochul won 60% of the vote, Williams 28% and Suozzi 11%.

New York Public Advocate Jumaane Williams speaks as he faces against with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., during a New York governor primary debate at the studios of WNBC4-TV, June 16, 2022, in New York. New Yorkers are casting votes in a governor’s race Tuesday, June 28, 2022, that for the first time in a decade does not include the name “Cuomo” at the top of the ticket. (Craig Ruttle/Pool via AP, File)

Dana Rubinstein on Twitter: “Kathy Hochul takes the stage wearing suffragette white under the glass ceiling of this TriBeCa event space, and nods to the state’s first gentleman, her husband, Bill.”

In the Republican race for governor, Lee Zeldin beat Andrew Giuliani, Rob Astorino and Harry Wilson. With 50% of the vote in Zeldin has 43% of the vote, Giuliani 24%, Astorino 19% and Wilson 14%.

Republican candidate for governor and U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin leaves the Mastic Beach firehouse with his wife Diana and his daughters after casting his vote for governor on Tuesday, June. 28, 2022 in Mastic Beach, N.Y. New Yorkers are casting votes in a governor’s race Tuesday that for the first time in a decade does not include the name “Cuomo” at the top of the ticket. (James Carbone/Newsday via AP)

Jeff Mays Twitter “This is a movement that is just beginning,” Andrew Giuliani says in his concession speech. He urges the crowd to support the Republican primary winner, Lee Zeldin, over Gov. Kathy Hochul, the Democrat, in the fall.”

Will Dudding Twitter “Alison Esposito, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, introduces Lee Zeldin to an ecstatic group of supporters in Nassau County.”

In the Democratic Primary Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado is the clear winner, with millions of dollars more than his opponents and the backing of the Democratic establishment with 61% of the vote.  Ana María Archila, a progressive activist received 25%, Diana Reyna running with Suozzi received 14% of the vote.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Giuliani throws car keys to an aide as he arrives to his polling place in a truck with his likeness on the side in New York, Tuesday, June 28, 2022. New Yorkers are casting votes in a governor’s race that for the first time in a decade does not include the name “Cuomo” at the top of the ticket. The most prominent name for Democrats is Kathy Hochul while GOP candidates include Giuliani, the son of New York’s former mayor. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Dana Rubinstein Twitter “In his victory speech, Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado says that if Democrats need a reminder of what’s at stake, they need look no further than the Supreme Court’s “disastrous” decision to take away a woman’s right to an abortion. “This is the fight of our lives,” Delgado said.”

The Post reported that Delgado suggested Tuesday night that Dems had to “hold the line” against a political rightwing that aims to take rights away from women, LGBTQ people and others.

A victory by the joint ticket of Hochul and Delgado this November, however, would help New York weather the ongoing political storm, according to Delgado. “Our democracy depends on it,” he said, as was reported by the NY Post.

The AP reported that in a nod to the barrier-breaking campaign, Hochul gave an election night speech Tuesday on a stage underneath a glass ceiling at an event space in Manhattan.

“I’m also here because I stand on the shoulders of generations of women, generations of women who constantly had to bang up against that glass ceiling. To the women of New York, this one’s for you,” Hochul said.

Hochul enters the general election campaign with a big advantage, running as the incumbent with a heavy fundraising advantage in a state that has more than twice as many registered Democrats than Republicans and has not had a GOP governor in 16 years, as was reported by the AP.

Spectrum News reported that New York State Republican Committee Chair Nick Langworthy said any of the four candidates running for the nomination for governor will have a united party behind them.

The state party and Langworthy, who is running for a Western New York congressional seat, backed Rep. Lee Zeldin at the state party’s convention in February.

“We have to be united. We’re down three-and-a-half million votes in enrollment,” Langworthy told Spectrum News’ Nick Reisman at Zeldin’s primary night party Tuesday. “Every single one of our four candidates would be a better governor than Kathy Hochul.”

Zeldin is a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and was among the Republicans in Congress who voted against certifying the 2020 election results, according to the AP report.

The Long Island congressman will try to become the first Republican elected governor in New York since Gov. George Pataki was reelected in 2002.

The NY Post reported that Giuliani’s second place position to Lee Zeldin was driven by Giuliani earning 51% of the vote share in Staten Island, 49% in Queens, 48% in Brooklyn, and 45% in the Bronx. Zeldin, in first place as of 9:34 p.m., earned 41% of the vote in Manhattan to Giuliani’s 31%, preliminary results with 9% of ballot scanners report show.

The former White House staffer’s father, Rudy Giuliani, was Big Apple mayor in the 1990s, when he was credited with reducing crime.

The Post reported that the AP and NY1 called the race, with early returns from New York City — which typically accounts for at least half of the Empire State’s Democratic electorate — showing Delgado outperforming his next closest rival by nearly a 2-1 margin.

Progressives had rallied behind activist Ana Maria Archila as a left wing alternative to Delgado as a way to cement their presence on the statewide ticket, but apparently to little avail. The Post reported that she had netted just 28 percent of the vote with 68.5 percent of precinct scanners reporting.

Recent decisions by the Supreme Court on abortion and concealed weapons have given Democrats a new line of attack against Republicans, who are hoping to win their first statewide election in two decades.

Hochul’s prospects are expected to be even stronger this fall after the Supreme Court last week overturned the Roe v. Wade decision establishing abortion rights, as was reported by the AP. She has made bolstering abortion rights a key plank of her campaign.

Hochul repeated that in her Tuesday night speech, proclaiming that the state had “gone on offense to protect abortion rights” and “making the world know that New York State is a safe harbor for America’s women,” as was reported by the AP. “We must answer one question,” she said. “Are we going to move New York forward, or let the far-right extremist drag our state backwards?”

Since taking office in August, Hochul has sought to step out from Cuomo’s shadow, promising a clean break from his administration. The AP reported that she has said she was not close to the former governor, who has denied wrongdoing, and was not around to witness any alleged misbehavior.

Tuesday’s election in New York covered statewide offices and state Assembly races, but primary elections for U.S. House seats and the state Senate will be held Aug. 23, as was reported by the AP. Those elections were delayed because of a redistricting lawsuit that led a court to throw out new political maps.

On a slightly different note, the Post reported that two New York City election sites told voters they didn’t have Republican ballots for New York’s primary race Tuesday as thousands headed to the polls to cast their vote for governor, The Post has learned.

One voter, Ed Gavin, 62, arrived at his Bronx polling site in Spuyten Duyvil around 8:15 a.m. to cast his vote for GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino but after checking in with a poll worker, he was handed a Democratic ballot instead, he said, as was reported by the Post.

Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino participates in New York’s Republican gubernatorial debate, at the studios of Spectrum News NY1, June 20, 2022, in New York. New Yorkers are casting votes in a governor’s race Tuesday, June 28, 2022, that for the first time in a decade does not include the name “Cuomo” at the top of the ticket. (Brittainy Newman/Pool via AP, File)

“I opened the sleeve and I saw the names of Tom Suozzi, Kathy Hochul and Jumaane Williams. These were all Democrats for governor,” Gavin, a retired Department of Correction assistant deputy warden, told The Post.

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