New York voters on Tuesday elected Democratic candidate Kathy Hochul as their first female governor.
Taking the platform to shouts and Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” at 11:30 p. m., Hochul grabbed the stage as her advantage over Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin was dwindling.
With the help of her followers, she was able to break the glass ceiling that was above them.
At about 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Hochul had a 54 percent to 46 percent lead against Zeldin in the tally. New York City was seen as crucial to the outcome of the election, and it was the city’s support that helped propel her to victory.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (D-NY) refused to surrender, arguing that there were likely more than 1.4 million votes to be counted, especially in his home county of Suffolk on Long Island.
The media “didn’t ever want us to be in contention here in New York,” he told his dwindling gathering of supporters, who had filled the cavernous ballroom of Cipriani’s in midtown Manhattan.
He went on to say that in the next few hours, the race will get closer and closer.
Voters’ focus on public safety and the economy in recent months helped Zeldin’s campaign surge, bringing the race to a closer finish than in any gubernatorial battle in the preceding two decades.
After taking office in August 2021 following the resignation of Governor Andrew Cuomo on sexual harassment claims, Hochul has promised to make housing, curbing gun violence, and increasing economic opportunity a priority in her first full term.
On Tuesday, Hochul expressed gratitude to her leadership team and labor unions for “bringing it home.” In her acceptance speech, she failed to mention Zeldin and instead praised New Yorkers for deciding not to “slide backwards on our long march toward development.”
And I know in my heart that our finest days are ahead of us,” she remarked.
With a 2-to-1 enrollment lead over the Republicans in New York, Hochul’s campaign was able to raise a record $50 million in just over a year.The 64-year-old ex-congresswoman from Buffalo aimed to highlight Zeldin’s controversial viewpoints in New York, including his strong ties to former President Donald Trump, his vote against certifying the 2020 presidential election results, and his opposition to abortion rights.
Legislators all around the world have praised her commitment to teamwork and friendship-making. She declared her intention to be a new kind of executive on Tuesday, one that New York has never seen before.
I will be a leader who inspires confidence and empathy, not panic and rage, she declared.