While Democrat Andrew M. Cuomo has won a second term as governor, he'll soon be contending with a Republican-controlled State Senate.
"How sweet it is!" Dean Skelos, State Senate co-leader (R-Rockville Centre) said early Wednesday after voters Tuesday went to the polls in midterm elections. "It's so nice to have a majority because we are going to continue to bring balance to Albany."
In local congressional races, Democratic Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice emerged victorious over Republican Bruce Blakeman, a former presiding officer of the Nassau Legislature, after a tight race for the 4th Congressional District seat in Nassau. That seat is currently held by retiring Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy.
In her victory speech just after midnight, Rice thanked McCarthy, the head of her campaign team, "from the bottom of my heart." She acknowledged the tightness of the race, adding that Blakeman had just called to concede, saying "I guess that makes it official."
"We proved that positivity and ideas beat fear-mongering and dirty campaigning," she said. "We proved that focusing on those who have the least . . . can be a path to electoral victory."
"I'm going to Washington to fight for you . . . to help get something done." said Rice.
Blakeman, conceding at the Nassau County Republican Party's event at Mirelle's Restaurant in Westbury, told the crowd he called Rice at about 12:10 a.m.
"We started this race against all odds, and we lost at the wire, but those things happen," he said.
U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) handily won re-election in his race to keep the 2nd Congressional District seat from Democratic challenger Patricia Maher.
In Suffolk, 12-year incumbent Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop, who held the First Congressional District, conceded the race to his challenger, Republican Lee Zeldin.
"A few minutes ago I called Senator Zeldin and offered him my congratulations," said Bishop. He said the two had a "very gracious conversation."
Minutes later, Zeldin told supporter:s "Victory is sweet, isn't it? . . . It belongs to all of you, all the voters in the 1st Congressional District."
"We took decisive action to fix America," he said, referring to Republican victories nationwide.
"We can't change Washington unless we change who we send there to represent us, and that's what you did here tonight," he said.
In the State Senate 3rd District, Republican Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci won over environmentalist Adrienne Esposito, who ran on the Democratic line.
"I understand this seat is very important to Long Island," Croci said in his victory speech. "I'm looking forward to a great term in Albany. Thank you all for the support, and God bless."
Democratic incumbent Steve Israel won re-election, beating Republican challenger Grant M. Lally in the 3rd Congressional District.
Statewide, Democratic incumbent Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman was the victor over Republican John P. Cahill, and Democratic incumbent Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli won easily over challenger Robert Antonacci.
Cuomo becomes the first Democratic governor to win re-election in New York since his father, Mario Cuomo, in the 1980s. The governor took to the stage at his election night headquarters in Manhattan at about 10:15 p.m., shouting thanks to his staff and supporters, including Republican Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.
Cuomo ran against Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
Cuomo garnered slightly fewer votes than Astorino in Suffolk County but pulled ahead in Nassau County, according to election returns in both counties.
In his victory speech, Cuomo said: "We did what we said we were going to do and we delivered for the people of this state."
"We broke decades of gridlock," reduced taxes and changed a deficit to a surplus, Cuomo said, pledging to raise the minimum wage, "attack property taxes" and improve education in his next term.
"I feel good about what we did and I feel good about how we did it," he said.
"You ain't seen nothing yet," Cuomo shouted, and he brought up his father on stage.
Astorino conceded the race at his White Plains headquarters.
"We have not tilted at windmills in this campaign. We have planted a flag," he said. "And we will be back to reclaim it and advance it further."
Nassau GOP chairman Joseph Mondello said the result of the Cuomo-Astorino election was "not a surprise."
"Anybody who runs a race and has $35 million to start is, let me tell you that's not a big surprise to see that person moving," Mondello said. "Rob Astorino ran a hell of a race. I think he was very good, he made a lot of good points and it will be reflected in the final count."
Cuomo, 56, will begin his second term with a long list of challenges, including the implementation of a new medical marijuana law, a decision on whether to allow fracking for natural gas and the selection of up to four new casino operators upstate.
Cuomo's running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul, of Buffalo, was elected lieutenant governor over Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss and will replace Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy, who is retiring.
Races for Congress, state Legislature
Long Islanders cast ballots in contests for five congressional seats, eight State Senate seats and 22 Assembly seats.
State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) declared victory over Wall Street financier Adam Haber, a Roslyn Democrat, in the 7th District.
"I'm grateful for all the support and I think it just reaffirms a great message we had, which is keeping our taxpayers first, providing tax relief, holding the line on spending and taking care of Nassau County residents," said Martins in his victory speech.
In the 1st District, incumbent Republican State Sen. Kenneth LaValle won re-election by a wide margin over Democrat Michael Conroy, and incumbent Republican Kemp Hannon in the 6th District successfully defended a challenge from Democrat Ethan Irwin.
Incumbent Republican John Flanagan won over Democrat Joseph Lombardi in the 2nd District, while in the 4th District, Republican Phiip Boyle won with a wide margin over Democrat John Alberts.
Republican Carl Marcellino held onto his seat in the 5th District, surmounting a challenge from Democrat Bruce Kennedy Jr.
In the 8th District, Nassau Legis. Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) lost to GOP Nassau County lawmaker Michael Venditto. Denenberg had stopped campaigning because of legal problems with his former law firm.
In the State Assembly, Republican challenger Dean Murray ousted incumbent Democrat Edward Hennessey in the 3rd District.
In the 11th District, Democrat Kimberly Jean-Pierre won the seat over Republican Mark Gallo, while Democrat Todd Kaminsky won the 20th District seat over Republican Avi Fertig.
Incumbents who won re-election in Long Island's state Assembly seats were: Democrats Fred Thiele in the 1st District, Steve Englebright in the 4th District, Philip Ramos in the 6th District, Charles Lavine in the 13th District, Michelle Schimel in the 16th District, Earlene Hooper in the 18th District and Michaelle Solages in the 22nd District; and Republicans Anthony Palumbo in the 2nd District, Al Graf in the 5th District, Andrew Garbarino in the 7th District, Michael Fitzpatrick in the 8th District, Joseph Saladino in the 9th District, Chad Lupinacci in the 10th District, Andrew Raia in the 12th District, David McDonough in the 14th District, Michael Montesano in the 15th District, Thomas McKevitt in the 17th District, Edward Ra in the 19th District and Brian Curran in the 21st District.
County and town races
Locally, Republican John M. Kennedy Jr. claimed victory in the Suffolk County comptroller's race over Democrat James Gaughran.
Suffolk voters also cast ballots in the races for several judicial posts. A county ballot proposition that would eliminate the treasurer's office passed. Another measure, which asked voters if they wanted to approve the use of bonding to replenish the county's drinking-water protection program, also passed.
Republican Neil Foley won the election for Brookhaven Town Council, while in Southold, Republican David Berger won re-election as trustee.
North Hempstead councilman Peter J. Zuckerman, who was appointed to the seat earlier this year, won the election.
Republican Joseph Capobianco won a seat on the Glen Cove City Council, while in Long Beach, Democrat Corey Klein won the city judgeship.
In Brookhaven, Republican Linda Kevins won the election for 6th District Court judge.
In Huntington, Steve Hackeling, Patricia Grant Flynn and Jim Matthews all won district court judgeships, as did Jennifer Henry and Pierce Cohalan in Islip.
Annmarie Seddio ran uncontested for receiver of taxes in Shelter Island.
In Southampton, a measure to let the town and Suffolk County trade parcels of parkland in Riverside passed.
The top six vote-getters for state Supreme Court justices in Nassau and Suffolk counties appeared to be Sandra L. Sgroi, Sharon MJ Gianelli, Thomas F. Whelan, Anna R. Anzalone, A. Gail Prudenti, and Angelo A. Delligati.
In Suffolk, Timothy Mazzei and Philip Goglas took County Court seats while Barbara R. Kahn was elected to the Family Court.
In Nassau, Danielle M. Peterson and Thomas Rademaker were elected to the Family Court while Terence P. Murphy, Fran Riciliano, and William J. O'Brien won seats on the County Court.
With Yancey Roy, Scott Eidler, Ted Phillips, Laura Figueroa, Valerie Bauman, Sarah Armaghan, Rick Brand, and Bridget Murphy