Democrat Kathy Hochul wins full term as New York Governor defeating Lee Zeldin
ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy Hochul has won a full four-year term, continuing her rapid ascent in New York politics from a little-known lieutenant governor just over a year ago. The Associated Press made the race call.
Hochul was thrust into campaigning soon after taking office, and polls showed the race against Long Island Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin tightening late.
Zeldin, with former President Trump's backing, focused his campaign on crime and inflation. But he could not overcome Democrats' sizable registration edge. Republicans have not won a statewide election since 2002.
Hochul is the first woman elected governor of New York. She replaced Andrew Cuomo, who resigned under pressure in August 2021 over multiple sexual harassment claims.
Hochul's victory is also unusual for an upstate politician. The former Buffalo-area Congresswoman made frequent appearances in New York City and on Zeldin's home turf of Long Island, hoping to boost Democratic turnout.
Hochul won a three-way primary in June. She and fellow Democrats faced criticism over the state's bail reform laws, her prodigious fundraising in a state capitol long defined by corruption, and new gun laws passed in a July special session after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the state's century-old limit on the concealed carrying of weapons. Her first lieutenant governor resigned after being arrested on federal bribery charges.
During the campaign, Hochul drew a sharp contrast with Zeldin, promising steady leadership for the next four years compared to a conservative candidate who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. Hochul largely focused her campaign on protecting abortion rights in the state.
More Election 2022 coverage:
Copyright 2022 WAMC Northeast Public Radio