Early in the morning on Election Day, Governor Kathy Hochul addressed what was shaping up to be a competitive race between herself and Lee Zeldin, a Republican. She was steadfast in defending her edge, even as headlines spelled hope for her opponent. “Can’t say I’ve seen the cover of the Post in quite a while,” Hochul said outside an Upper East Side diner on the corner of East 86th Street and Second Avenue.
By the end of the night, she declared victory, alongside Democratic Attorney General Letitia James, Democratic U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and Democratic Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Hochul first took office in August of last year after former Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned amid sexual harrasment allegations; she walked away from this year’s midterm election with just over 52% of the vote, according to preliminary state results, making her the first woman elected to the position.
“The glass ceiling, like the one that’s above us here today, has finally been shattered in the state of New York,” she said in a victory speech at her election night venue downtown. In Manhattan, she won support from nearly 70% of voters.
On Tuesday, November 8, Manhattan was “headed to one of the best midterm turnout totals here in recent history,” Borough President Mark Levine announced. A few hours out from the close of polls, more than 358,000 people had checked in to cast their ballots, including during early voting, the city Board of Elections reported.
Local competitions for Congress, NYS Assembly and Senate finished decisively in blue territory.
Close Of A Crowded Congressional Race
On Election Day, Democratic candidate Daniel Goldman traversed the newly-drawn territory of New York’s 10th Congressional District, from Park Slope, Brooklyn to the Lower East Side of Manhattan. By the evening, he’d secured an easy victory, with over 83% of the vote against Republican Benine Hamdan, according to unofficial election night data.
“The responsibility of representing this community, my home, and the city I love is not one I take lightly,” he wrote in an announcement of his win on Twitter Tuesday evening.
The field had been crowded, attracting over a dozen locals, elected officials and other big names, including former Mayor Bill de Blasio, to throw their hats in the ring, even if briefly (in the case of de Blasio). Goldman, who focused his campaign on his involvement in the first impeachment investigation of former President Donald Trump, beat out farther left-leaning Democratic candidates including Downtown NYS Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, Rep. Mondaire Jones and East Side Council Member Carlina Rivera in the summer primary.
In NYS Assembly Races, Democrats Triumphed
In the overlapping NYS Assembly District 65, covering the Lower East Side through to the Financial District, Democratic candidate Grace Lee triumphed over Republican Helen Qiu with nearly 76% of the vote, according to preliminary BOE results.
“I am so proud and humbled that the voters of Lower Manhattan have put their trust in me,” Lee, a small business owner and mother of three, told Our Town Downtown in a statement.
“There is a very real sense of instability right now,” she continued. “Even in a state like ours, we are just barely hanging on. Our communities in Lower Manhattan are facing many serious issues from public safety and the rise of anti-Asian hate, to a housing crisis and environmental threats to our neighborhoods. Addressing these issues is a responsibility I will take on with a clarity and sense of purpose that meets the moment. I am ready to get to work.”
Qiu continued name-calling her opponent and declared her run a “landslide victory” on Twitter, despite losing the midterm election, the day after polls closed.
Farther north, in Assembly District 74, incumbent Democratic Assembly Member Harvey Epstein secured over 82% of the vote against challenger Bryan Cooper, a Republican. “It has been an honor serving my community and I can’t wait until we get back in the office,” Epstein tweeted after his win.
On the West Side, incumbent Democratic Assembly Member Deborah Glick will continue to represent District 66 and the southernmost tip of Manhattan will be represented by Democrat Charles Fall.
A Clear Blue NYS Senate Win, Despite Muddled Feelings
Not all Downtown voters felt compelled by the Democratic party’s pleas. Kathy Zimmer, a New Yorker who voted at P.S. 20, on Essex Street, told Our Town Downtown she “was not entirely sold on” Hochul, “but she is an entirely better option” than Zeldin. Another P.S. 20 voter, who discussed his ballot choices on the condition of anonymity, said he felt as though candidates from both parties talked a bigger game than they could live up to. Ultimately, he backed Democratic candidates — but said he was willing to hear Republicans out.
For incumbent Democratic State Senator Brian Kavanagh, the win was easy in District 27, which covers all of Lower Manhattan. He walked away from the midterm election with over 95% of the vote against “Medical Freedom” party challenger Eric Rassi, who has championed COVID-19 conspiracy theories.
“The responsibility of representing this community, my home, and the city I love is not one I take lightly.” NY-10 electee Daniel Goldman