MIDTERMS 2022 LIVE UPDATES: Lee Zeldin concedes to Kathy Hochul
Executive Produced by Neil A. Carousso
NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) — Midterm election results are continuing to roll in Wednesday. In New York’s closely watched governor’s race, Gov. Kathy Hochul declared victory over Republican challenger Rep. Lee Zeldin, who conceded but said the “rescue mission to Save Our State continues.”
2 p.m. — Lee Zeldin concedes to Kathy Hochul
Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin conceded to Kathy Hochul in the New York governor’s race on Wednesday.
Here is Zeldin’s full statement:
“I would like to congratulate New York Governor Kathy Hochul on her election to a full four year term.
“This race was a once in a generation campaign, with a very close margin in the bluest of blue states. The unrelenting passion and hard work of our grassroots volunteers and supporters made this incredibly close race possible and helped us win at least 49 of New York’s 62 counties. Republicans, Democrats and Independents united as New Yorkers, pouring their heart and soul into this campaign.
“Those controlling Albany should take note. New Yorkers of all walks of life are sick of the attacks on their wallets, their safety, their freedoms and the quality of their kids’ education and are hitting their breaking point, as proven by these results. As they take office in January, Governor Kathy Hochul and those controlling Albany must address the grave concerns voiced by the voters. While this campaign has come to a close, the rescue mission to Save Our State continues.”
There hadn’t been a governor’s race this close in New York in 30 years, with Hochul only leading Zeldin by about five points in the traditionally deep-blue state. And while Zeldin lost, his message appeared to resonate in New York City’s suburbs, where Republicans had a strong showing Tuesday and helped the GOP in its effort to take control of the U.S. Congress.
1:30 p.m. — Lee Zeldin will reportedly concede to Kathy Hochul
Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin will reportedly concede to Kathy Hochul in the New York governor’s race.
Zeldin’s campaign told the New York Post that Zeldin planned to concede Wednesday afternoon.
Hochul declared victory Tuesday night after some news organizations called the race for her, but Zeldin had yet to concede as of Wednesday.
He said he wanted to wait for all the votes to be counted and also predicted “massive” votes would come in for him from Long Island, where he lives.
Hochul was leading Zeldin 52.5% to 47.5% as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, with 94% of precincts reporting. The outcome was fairly close for New York, which hasn’t elected a Republican governor since 2002.
For comparison, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo won a third term against Republican Marc Molinaro in 2018 with nearly 59.6% of the vote to Molinaro’s 36%.
12 p.m. – Tom Kean Jr. flips House seat in NJ, beating Tom Malinowski
Two-term Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski conceded to Republican Tom Kean Jr.
The Associated Press hasn’t officially called the race for NJ-07, but Malinowski congratulated Kean Wednesday on Twitter.
Kean appeared to already claim victory in the race on Tuesday night.
The district had picked up more Republican voters after its boundaries in the northwest were redrawn.
Malinowski cast Kean as too reliant on support from voters loyal to former President Donald Trump to represent the district, which swung from reliably GOP to Democratic control during Trump’s years in the White House.
Kean had seized on inflation as a top issue and hammers on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom he is betting is unpopular with voters.
This year’s race was a rematch of sorts. Malinowski narrowly defeated Kean, a former state lawmaker and the son of former Republican Gov. Tom Kean Sr., in 2020. Malinowski first won election by defeating Republican incumbent Rep. Leonard Lance in 2018.
10:55 a.m. — Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney concedes in Hudson Valley race
U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, conceded his Lower Hudson Valley district NY-17 to Republican state Assemblyman Mike Lawler. His loss is seen as a major blow for the Democrats.
Maloney’s campaign said the congressman conceded in a phone call. The Associated Press has called the race for Lawler.
Maloney, who was the first openly gay New Yorker elected to Congress, had a track record of winning in a Republican-leaning district, but the state’s redistricting plan put him in a reconfigured territory where fewer voters know him.
National Republican groups, sensing an opportunity, spent millions on advertisements supporting Lawler, a former executive director of the state Republican party who worked in local government before his election to the Assembly in 2020.
7:15 a.m. — Republicans win several House races in NYC suburbs
Republican candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives notched several wins in New York City’s suburbs, seizing a seat in an area once considered safely Democratic, defending others and appearing on the verge of picking up additional wins in districts the party hasn’t won in years.
By early Wednesday, Republicans had won at least seven seats in Congress from New York, just one less than their current representation in the state’s delegation. They were leading or within a percentage point of the lead in five more races.
The strong showing by Republicans on Long Island came after the city’s suburbs emerged as an unlikely battleground for control of the House. Several closely watched contests remained too early to call Wednesday morning, including the re-election race of U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who is facing Republican state Assemblyman Mike Lawler.
Republican George Santos defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman in what was the first known congressional election featuring two openly gay candidates.
Democrat Laura Gillen, an attorney and one-term supervisor of the town of Hempstead, was in a tight race with Republican Anthony D’Esposito, a member of Hempstead’s town council and a former NYPD detective.
Republican U.S. Rep. Andrew Garbarino defeated Democrat Jackie Gordon in a race on Long Island’s South Shore.
Republican Nicholas LaLota defeated Democrat Bridget Fleming in a reworked version of the congressional district now represented by U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, who decided not to seek reelection so he could be the GOP candidate for governor.
In the Hudson Valley, freshly minted U.S. Rep. Pat Ryan, a Democrat, is trying to replicate his surprise win in an August special election in a race against Republican Colin Schmitt, a second-term state Assemblyman.
The race appeared exceedingly close early Wednesday morning, but Schmitt nonetheless conceded, saying he hoped Ryan “will do great things for our Hudson Valley families.” The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the race.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, is also leading a close race against Democrat Josh Riley in a sprawling new district that runs from the Massachusetts border all the way to Ithaca.
11:49 p.m. — Some election night takeaways:
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s projected victory over Republican Lee Zeldin is the big news in New York tonight.
Also notable is Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis’ projected victory over Max Rose. Other New York races to watch are still too close to call.
In Nassau County, Republican George Santos holds a slight lead over Democrat Robert Zimmerman for a U.S. House seat with 74% of the votes tallied. In Westchester, Republican Mike Lawler holds a six-point lead over Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
In New Jersey, Democratic incumbent Josh Gottheimer is projected to beat Frank Pillota for a Northern Jersey House seat.
Nationwide, Peter Thiel-backed Republican J.D. Vance is projected to beat Tim Ryan for an Ohio Senate seat. The showdown between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker in Georgia is neck and neck with 81% of the vote in.
The Senate election between Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz is also extremely close with 84% of the votes counted.
11:35 p.m. Republican J.D. Vance projected to win Ohio Senate seat, beating veteran politician Tim Ryan, Democrat Josh Gottheimer projected to take U.S. House seat in Jersey
“Hillbilly Elegy” author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance beat Democrat Tim Ryan for an Ohio Senate seat, AP projected.
AP also projected Democrat incumbent Josh Gottheimer won a contentious race in Northern Jersey against Republican Frank Pallotta.
11:12 p.m. ABC projected Gov. Kathy Hochul to win New York gubernatorial race, defeating Republican challenger Lee Zeldin
Gov. Kathy Hochul is projected to defeat Republican challenger Lee Zeldin, securing the governorship in the face of an unexpectedly close race.
She will be the first woman elected governor in the history of New York.
Zeldin, an ally of former President Donald Trump who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election as a U.S. representative, attacked Hochul on crime.
Hochul, who became governor when former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned, attacked Zeldin’s anti-abortion record after the issue took center stage with the Supreme Court’s repeal of Roe v. Wade.
Hochul was able to carry the day and prevent what would have been the first Republican governorship in New York since 2007.
11 p.m. — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott defeated Beto O’Rourke, AP projects
AP projected Republican Gov. Greg Abbott defeated Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.
This is O’Rourke’s third loss in four years. In 2018 he lost a Senate race to Ted Cruz, and in 2020 he lost the Democratic presidential primary to Joe Biden.
AP also projected Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom will won his re-election campaign in California.
10:33 p.m. — Attorney General Letitia James projected to win re-election
Attorney General Letitia James won re-election by a comfortable margin, AP projected.
James became a well known figure in New York as she investigated sexual misconduct and a COVID-19 death coverup from former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was forced to resign in part due to her findings.
She came to national prominence prosecuting several lawsuits against former President Donald Trump.
AP projected Sen. Chuck Schumer won re-election in New York almost immediately after polls closed, defeating Republican Joe Pinion.
This will be the Senate majority leader’s fifth term, making him New York’s longest serving senator.
8:50 p.m.– Final touches are going up at New York Gubernatorial candidates’ headquarters
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s headquarters tonight is at Capitale in the Bowery where she will be awaiting election results and deliver a speech.
Lee Zeldin’s party is at Ciprini’s in Hell’s Kitchen.
8:30 p.m.: AP projects Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders wins election for governor in Arkansas.
8:08 p.m. — Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Marco Rubio both win re-election in Florida, AP projects
AP has projected both Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio won re-election in Florida.
8 p.m. — Polls close in New Jersey and Connecticut
Voting is closed in New Jersey and Connecticut. Polls in New York will be open for another hour.
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut won reelection.
7:41 p.m. — The RNC sued for an extension of polling hours in Arizona after voting machines caused delays in Phoenix, election deniers seize on issues to sow distrust
The Republican national committee sued to extend voting hours in Maricopa County, which covers Phoenix, after vote tabulation machine malfunctions caused delays.
“At least 36% of all voting centers across Maricopa County have been afflicted with pervasive and systemic malfunctions of ballot tabulation devices and printers, which has burdened voters with excessive delays and long lines,” wrote the plaintiffs in the complaint. “To remedy these consequential violations of Arizona law and derogation of the franchise, the Court should immediately issue a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction.”
The lawsuit is asking the court to order polling locations extend voting hours from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Maricopa County officials said about 60 machines were unable to tabulate votes across a quarter of voting locations in the county. Authorities said that 17 of those malfunctioning machines had been fixed by 2 p.m. — 8 hours into the election.
Officials assured the public that all votes would be counted despite delays.
Arizona was a hotbed for election denial and voter fraud conspiracy theories after the 2020 election.
Prominent election deniers and former President Donald Trump have already seized on the voting machine problems to attack the integrity of the 2022 election.
“Here we go again?” wrote Trump on his social media website. “The people will not stand for it!!”
6:56 p.m. — The first polls in the nation close at 7 p.m.
Voting ended in Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and Florida closed at 7 p.m. — the first in the nation outside of a few select district in Indiana and Kentucky.
Polls for New Jersey and Connecticut close at 8 p.m. and voting will go until 9 p.m. in New York.
Nationwide, Republicans are pressuring Democrats amid backlash over inflation and the economy. Democrats are hoping to defend their thin margins in both houses of congress, often campaigning on abortion rights after the conservative-controlled Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Many contests, like the Senate race between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker in Georgia, have garnered national attention and donations as Republicans threaten to take back both houses of congress for the first time since 2018.
Other notable elections include the Ohio Senate race between between Democrat Tim Ryan and Republican J.D. Vance and the Pennsylvania Senate race between Republican Mehmet Oz — better known by his television moniker Dr. Oz — and Democrat John Fetterman.
What many thought was going to be a landslide win for current Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, who assumed office last year after Andrew Cuomo resigned, has become a tight race against Republican opponent Lee Zeldin, who is running on an staunch anti-crime platform.
“We actually need to hire more law enforcement, mandatory forced overtime,” Zeldin told 1010 WINS just before election day. “Moving law enforcement officers from one beat to another is not the answer, but what we need to do is actually hire more law enforcement.”
Crime has been a contentious issue for Hochul with a focus on New York City, especially in the subways.
“I also tripled the amount of money going toward law enforcement in our budget,” Hochul told 1010 WINS. “And I’m sure Zeldin neglected to tell you that we have a bill on the floor of Congress to increase funding to support the police and he didn’t even show up for the vote.”
The issue of crime is dividing for New York City residents but one voter told 1010 WINS he’s pleased with Hochul’s run so far.
“I’m not as concerned about crime,” the voter said. “I feel like it’s blown out of proportion in the media quite a bit. I think the future of our country needs to turn to social issues in terms of the economy.”
Other congressional candidates are facing off in tight races around the state. In New York’s 11th congressional district, which covers all of Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, Republican Nicole Malliotakis and Democrat Max Rose are up against each other again, a rematch of the 2020 election when Malliotakis took over Rose’s seat in the city’s only swing House of Representatives district.
“I’ve also delivered million dollars to the NYPD for the canine unit forensic equipment, protective gear, so we’re delivering for the men and women who are trying to do their best to keep us safe,” Malliotakis told 1010 WINS about her efforts to address crime in the city.
The 3rd congressional district represents parts of Nassau County, Long Island and Queens. Santos joined 1010 WINS and argued that there’s a one party democratic control federal of the New York State governments which has left residents feeling left less safe. Zimmerman, however, sees it differently.
“Let’s remember this election is not about Democrat versus Republican,” Zimmerman told 1010 WINS. “It’s about mainstream values standing up to extremism. That’s really what defines the difference between George Santos and myself.”
Santos, in line with other Republican campaigns this election cycle, is focused on crime and law enforcement funding.
“I have been publicly, since the very beginning of the debate, made very clear of not only my strong opposition of defunding the police, I’ve been advocating increasing funding in the police,” Santos said on 1010 WINS. “And I think that is a very defining or critical point to be made.”