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Hochul, Zeldin will face off in November's election for governor

Gov. Kathy Hochul, left, won the Democratic primary, and Rep. Lee Zeldin won the Republican primary in the New York governor's race.
Hochul: New York NOW
Zeldin: WXXI file photo
Gov. Kathy Hochul, left, won the Democratic primary, and Rep. Lee Zeldin won the Republican primary in the New York governor's race.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul won Tuesday’s Democratic primary, her first contest in seeking a full term as governor. She’ll now face the Republican primary winner, Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin, in the November election.

Hochul, dressed in white at a Tribeca venue that featured a literal glass ceiling, said Tuesday night that she stands on the shoulders of generations of women.

“To the women of New York, this one’s for you,” Hochul said to the cheering crowd of supporters.

Hochul beat back challenges from New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a progressive, and Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi, a moderate Democrat. Neither candidate had name recognition or much money compared to Hochul’s multimillion-dollar campaign fund, and they failed to win significant support from voters.

If Hochul wins in November, she would be the first woman chosen by voters to hold the state’s highest elected office. Hochul replaced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo when he resigned last August in a sexual harassment scandal.

In the closing days of the campaign, she focused on defending abortion rights and approving gun safety measures, two issues of concern for Democratic voters. She vowed to continue the fight, saying she won’t let “right-wing extremists” win.

“And making the world know that New York State is a safe harbor for America’s women,” Hochul said. “You come here.”

Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado, Hochul’s running mate, won over progressive candidate Ana Maria Archila and moderate Diana Reyna.

Delgado, a former congressman, has been in this post for just over a month. He replaced Hochul’s first choice, former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, who was indicted on federal corruption charges and resigned.

Delgado called for unity in the wake of the recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings overturning Roe v. Wade and New York’s restrictions on carrying concealed weapons, saying “dark forces” are exploiting hate and division.

“New York has always been ahead of the national curve, setting the pace,” Delgado said. “And now more than ever, we need New York to … hold the line.”

Republican Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin won in a four-way primary, beating Rob Astorino, Harry Wilson and Andrew Giuliani, son of Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and adviser to former President Donald Trump.

Zeldin said New York is at a “breaking point,” and high costs and taxes have led to rising outmigration. He blamed Hochul for high crime rates, saying she sold out to the liberals on issues like the bail reform laws that ended many forms of cash bail. He also promised to end all pandemic-related mandates.

“In the state of New York, one-party rule will end, Kathy Hochul will get fired,” Zeldin said. “We will restore balance and common sense to Albany again.”

There are twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans in New York, and Hochul is favored to win the general election in November.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for the New York Public News Network, composed of a dozen newsrooms across the state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.