Maloney looks like upset victor over Hayworth

Sean Patrick Maloney speaks to supporters as he

Sean Patrick Maloney speaks to supporters as he celebrates his victory over Congresswoman Nan Hayworth during a Election Night party in Rock Tavern. (Nov. 6, 2012) (Credit: Meghan Murphy)

A major political upset appeared to be in the offing in the Hudson Valley on Tuesday night as Democrat Sean Maloney stood well ahead of Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-Bedford) in the vote count.

With 609 of 630 precincts reporting results as of early morning Wednesday, Maloney had 52 percent of the vote in the 18th Congressional District, which includes parts of Westchester, Orange, Putnam and Dutchess counties. Hayworth had 48 percent. The gap was about 8,400 votes.

When Hayworth spoke to supporters at Anthony's Pier 9 in Newburgh at 12:25, she did not concede, but didn't declare victory, either. Instead, she said she'd wait until the morning until all the votes in the district were fully counted before making any decisions.


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"We're just going to be grateful for your support, grateful for all the people, the hundreds of friends, thousands of supporters who have brought me as your servant in Congress to this moment," she said. "We're going to wait until the morning to see what all the numbers show and where we stand. Thank you all and we'll see you again tomorrow morning."

The crowd was somber.

"It was not a good day for Orange County Republicans," said Phil DeProspo, the county's GOP chairman.

In Rock Tavern, Maloney supporters watching a live feed of Hayworth's speech booed when she didn't concede.

The crowd, filled with union members drinking beer from redplastic cups, exploded in rapturous applause when Maloney addressed them.

"The Hudson Valley voted for change," said Maloney. "The people have settled this debate. They told us in a clear voice to put the people first and put partisan politics second."

Antonella Pechtel, who was holding a Maloney sign and cheering as the candidate began his speech, said Hayworth's defeat would be crucial to protecting hard-fought progressive gains in Congress.

"Oh my God, I think that this will save Medicare and Medicaid," she said. "This is going to save Social Security. This is going tosave women's rights. That's what this was all about."

Assemblyman Frank Skartados (D-Poughkeepsie) beamed a the thought of Congress losing a conservative lawmaker.

"The Tea Party is over," said Skartados. "It's a new day."

Hayworth spokesman Michael Knowles said important precincts, including Kiryas Joel, had yet to report results. They could tip the scales in Hayworth's favor, he said.

The Tea Party's short-lived momentum at the polls helped vault Hayworth to Congress in 2010. Since then, the 52-year-old retired ophthalmologist has supported conservative policies that reflect the movement's goals, including repeal of the health care reforms pushed through by Obama in 2010 and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's controversial proposed overhaul of Medicare.

A resident of Cold Spring in Putnam County, Maloney, 46, is an attorney and former adviser to President Bill Clinton and to Govs. Eliot Spitzer and David A. Paterson. He supported the president's call for higher taxes on wealthy households and talked about a federal infrastructure bank that would attract private financing for public projects like the proposed $5.9 billion replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

On the campaign trail, Hayworth criticized Maloney as a carpetbagger because he had moved from Manhattan to the newly created district.

Maloney has depicted Hayworth as a radical whose economic and social values are out of touch with voters.

But Maloney's attacks didn't make much of a dent in Hayworth's support. Going into the election, a Siena College poll said the Republican had a lead of seven percentage points over her Democratic challenger.

Campaign donations played an important part in the race, financing barrages of aggressive TV ads for both sides. Democratic and Republican super PACs poured money into the district. Hayworth came out on top in fundraising with $2.73 million to spend as the campaign entered its final phase. Maloney had $1.6 million, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

Lowey, Carvin and Morganthaler

Running for her 13th term, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Harrison) proudly ran on her record of bringing federal spending to the Hudson Valley.

The 75-year-old lawmaker defeated Republican Joe Carvin, 58, a Rye town supervisor, and independent Frank Morganthaler, a retired FDNY lieutenant who lives in Hawthorne.

Carvin, a hedge fund manager, touted his business acumen during the campaign, suggesting it would help him get legislation that would support jobs. His wealth helped him compete with Lowey's fundraising operation -- he loaned his own campaign $1 million, and had more cash on hand than Lowey as the campaign entered its final phase -- but it wasn't enough to unseat the veteran Democrat.

Engel, McLaughlin and Diferia

It was little surprise when Rep. Eliot Engel (D-Bronx) defeated his Republican challenger, Joseph McLaughlin, and Green Party nominee Joseph P. Diferia.

"It feels great," Engel told News12. "It's the first time I'm going to have a majority of my district being Westchester. In areas I never (represented) before, I did very strongly. It's quite an honor and I'm very excited to be Westchester's congressman."

Riverdale attorney Engel, 65, is a fixture in the politics of New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley, having served Bronx and Westchester County constituents in the 16th Congressional District for more than two decades.

Bronx native McLaughlin, 44, is a commercial real estate developer and former financier who has worked at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York and for the Chicago Board of Trade.

Yonkers native Diferia, 51, is a college instructor in politics and government.

Gipson and Schreibman

Rep. Chris Gibson (R-Kinderhook), who won a seat in Congress in 2010, was ahead of Democratic challenger Julian Schreibman at midnight. With 588 of 653 precincts reporting, Gibson had 54 percent of the vote compared with Schreibman's 46 percent.

A retired Army colonel and former West Point Military Academy instructor, Gibson also supported Ryan's Medicare plan and other conservative proposals.

Kingston attorney Schreibman, a 39-year-old Democrat, is an ex-prosecutor and counsel for the Central Intelligence Agency. He also served as chairman of the Ulster County Democratic Committee in the past.

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