Hochul celebrates as first woman to be elected governor in New York

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 November 2022 at 9:05 am

Kathy Hochul made history on Tuesday as the first woman elected governor in New York.

Gov. Kathy Hochul

Hochul held off Lee Zeldin in a close election in a Democrat-dominated state.

With 93 percent of the votes in, Hochul has 3,022,429 votes or 52.7 percent compared to 2,709,903 or 47.3 percent. (Zeldin won Orleans County, receiving 10,270 votes to 3,242 for Hochul.)

Zeldin faulted Hochul for supporting cashless bail, which he said has fueled a crime wave in the state.

Hochul said Zeldin overstated the issue and used fear to get votes. She said the state’s economic policies are working, driving down unemployment and leading to investment by businesses in the state, including a $319 million project at the STAMP site in Genesee County, near the Orleans border.

“Tonight, a glass ceiling was shattered in the State of New York,” Hochul tweeted last night. “Thank you to everyone who made it happen — this victory is yours.”

Hochul, the state’s 57th governor, is a Hamburg resident and former Erie County clerk. She is the first person from Western New York to be elected governor since Grover Cleveland in 1883.

She previously represented part of Orleans County in Congress, the first Democrat elected to the Republican-dominated region in 40 years. She was frequently in Orleans County in her role as lieutenant governor for about 6 ½ years highlighting projects at Lake Ontario, the Erie Canal and also the $17 million overhaul of the former Holley High School into senior apartments and the Holley village offices.

Hochul became governor on Aug. 24, 2021, stepping in after Andrew Cuomo resigned in a sexual harassment scandal.

Zeldin, a Long Island congressman, made it a close race. He urged voters to “Save the State” and pick a different course for New York and end one-party rule in the state government.

Other Democrats in state-wide positions were elected on Tuesday, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Letitia James.

“I promise to keep fighting for the rights of every person in our great state and ensure the rule of law is applied equally to everyone,” James tweeted. “Thank you, New York.”