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NY Dems cheer Biden/Harris victory; GOP not conceding yet

New York Democrats on Saturday celebrated Joe Biden’s victory, noted the historic election of Kamala Harris as vice president and sought to project a nation on a path to "unity" and "healing" after four years of President Donald Trump.

Republicans mostly stayed silent. Or refused to immediately accept projections of a Biden victory.

"This is a historic day. After the darkness, division and hate of the past four years, America has spoken and rejected more of the same," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said shortly after The Associated Press and the major television networks declared Biden had won Pennsylvania and surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed to claim the presidency.

"Today is a day we’ll long remember!" State Sen. John Brooks (D-Seaford) said on Twitter. "I am filled with hope that the time has come for our country to come together."

"I’m happy. I’m relieved," Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) said in a conference call. "Take a few moments to try and enjoy the victory, and then there’s a tremendous amount of work to do."

"He is a healer by nature, the country needs healing and the people have spoken," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on NY1.

Even with an unprecedented number of absentee ballots triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, swing states' vote counting began to move toward conclusion Saturday. Along with Pennsylvania, Nevada also was called for Biden — giving the former Democratic vice president 279 electoral votes to Trump’s 214.

Biden also held narrow leads in Georgia and Arizona — the latter already has been projected to back him.

But Trump hasn’t conceded. And some Republicans have adopted the same stance.

"Among some other outstanding issues, we are especially awaiting final results out of Georgia and Arizona as well as the resolution to the legal issues due to voter irregularities in Pennsylvania. Once all the votes are counted and legal issues resolved, we must unite as a nation and move forward," said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) — one of Trump’s strongest allies in New York — in a statement.

The Trump campaign has vowed to fight in court over absentee ballots in Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania — and, so far, all but one of the cases has been rejected. In Pennsylvania, a state judge ordered election officials to allow observers to move closer to poll workers to inspect ballots, but a federal judge refused to halt the count.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Trump ally, told CBS that while the president has the right to pursue legal claims, he hasn’t "seen any evidence at all that" substantiates the claims or could change the outcome in any state.

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) struck a similar tone: "It certainly appears from the voting results that Joe Biden has more than 270 electoral votes. I believe President Trump has every right to contest that in court, but once the courts decide, all Americans should accept the decision. If Joe Biden is the president, all Americans should stand behind him."

Numerous New York lawmakers focused on Harris becoming the first female and first African-American and South Asian vice president-elect.

"This was a historic election. Joe Biden received more votes than anyone running for president in our nation’s history. And for the first time, a woman will be the vice president of the United States — sending a clear message to little girls in every corner of this country that they, too, can be anything they want to be," said Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City).

"There's much to celebrate, but more than anything, I'm excited to celebrate calling my friend @KamalaHarris Madam Vice President," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said on Twitter. "She's made history as the first woman, first Black person, first South Asian elected VP."

State & Region