New York: Democrat Kathy Hochul has become the first woman elected New York governor, winning the office outright that she took over in 2021 when former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned.
She defeated Republican congressman Lee Zeldin, an ally of Donald Trump who ran a campaign focused on fear of violent crime. “Tonight you made your voices heard loud and clear. And, and you made me the first woman ever elected to be the governor of the state of New York. But I’m not here to make history, I’m here to make a difference,” Hochul told supporters Tuesday night.
Hochul, a Buffalo native, had been expected to win in a state where there are more than twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans. New Yorkers haven’t elected a Republican as governor since Gov. George Pataki won a third term in 2002. But Zeldin made the race competitive, closing in on Hochul in the final weeks and appearing to spur her to speak more about public safety. “I would like to congratulate New York Governor Kathy Hochul on her election to a full four-year term,” Zeldin said in a statement Wednesday.
As a nod to the history Hochul hoped to make as the first woman to be elected governor, she appeared at a rally days before the election with Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman to be elected to the country’s second-highest office, and Hillary Clinton, the first woman to be a major party’s presidential nominee and New York’s first female senator.
Hochul is among eight women who have won statewide elections in New York, a group she initially joined when she was elected lieutenant governor in 2014. She became the first woman to serve as governor when she took over from Cuomo.