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Long IslandPolitics

Hochul wins lieutenant governor race

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's running mate, Kathy Hochul, Tuesday night defeated opponent Timothy Wu to win the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.

Hochul had 59.9 percent of the vote to Wu's 40.1 percent, with 98 percent of precincts reporting.

Hochul, a Democratic former Congress member hailing from a conservative Buffalo-area district, was propelled to victory in part by big-name endorsers with liberal credentials, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"I am sincerely honored that Democrats from every corner of this state have put their faith in me," she said in a statement, thanking Wu for a "spirited" campaign. She celebrated without Cuomo Tuesday night at Democratic headquarters in Buffalo.

Wu, a Columbia University law professor, and Zephyr Teachout, the Fordham University law professor who failed in her bid to unseat Cuomo, had posed a formidable challenge from the left and portrayed Hochul and the governor as centrists.

More than 200 Teachout-Wu supporters Tuesday night crowded into Hudson Terrace lounge in Manhattan to await the results, cheering loudly when they learned the ticket had won two upstate counties early in the night. Wu in a concession speech said he and Teachout put on a "good show" against a "multimillion-dollar machine."

"We jumped -- I jumped . . . and people caught us and carried us throughout the state," he said, calling the experience "enlightening."

Hochul had run as a champion of Democratic values. "I stood up to the tea party and blocked a Republican budget," she said in one ad.

She said she would fight for Cuomo's women's equality agenda, which includes equal pay, abortion rights and tougher penalties for workplace harassment. She also backs the Dream Act to provide in-state college tuition rates and scholarships for immigrants who entered the country illegally.

Cuomo had said "experience matters" in a race that pits Hochul against Wu, who has never held elected office.

The lieutenant governor election is conducted separately from the governor's. The position is largely ceremonial, but the deputy must be ready to assume the governor post.

Wu had said he would treat it as a watchdog post. Wu backed a technology plan to increase competition among broadband Internet providers. He opposed hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for shale gas as an energy source.

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