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NEW YORK, NY (WNY News Now) – Kathy Hochul was elected as New York’s first female Govenor on Tuesday night.
The Democrat declared victory around 11:30 p.m. while speaking to supporters in New York City.
Hochul, who became New York’s governor when her predecessor Andrew Cuomo resigned amid scandal, made history by becoming the first woman to win election to the job.
She bested Republican congressman Lee Zeldin, who tapped into voter fears about violent crime and made the race competitive.
Zeldin, an ally of former President Donald Trump who objected to the 2020 election results, has made appeals to scared suburbanites and rattled urbanites amid a string of high-profile violent incidents.
Though Hochul has been governor for a year, she is not as well known as her predecessor. Cuomo was known for his aggressive style and became a national media fixture for his pandemic briefings before his tenure was overshadowed by scandal.
Hochul, a former congresswoman, was serving as Cuomo’s low-profile lieutenant governor before taking over in August 2021 when he resigned amid sexual harassment allegations, which he denies. She has tried to cast herself as a fresh change from Cuomo, promising more collaboration and transparency while trying to steer the state through the pandemic aftereffects.
The Buffalo native’s formidable campaign fundraising brought in about $50 million, which she’s used to fund a smattering of campaign ads staking herself as a defender of abortion rights and portraying Zeldin, who hails from Long Island, as “extreme and dangerous” because of his ties to Trump and his vote against certifying the 2020 election results.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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