Andrew Cuomo won the race for governor of New York last night, defeating Republican candidate Carl Paladino early on in the evening, according to the New York Times and other news outlets.
One of few Democrats who managed to hold their positions as Republicans achieved big gains across the board, Cuomo claimed victory before 11:30 p.m., giving a speech in front of supporters in midtown Manhattan.
During the race, he and his opponent had waged an intense battle that was closely monitored by the media. Paladino had been highly criticized for his actions throughout the race, many of which were viewed as inappropriate and unprofessional.
The rest of the candidates for governor, all of who ran on third-tickets, each received around one percent or less of the vote.
Joined on stage during his acceptance speech by his father, former governor Mario Cuomo, Cuomo promised to appease the people of New York’s anger and bring change to the state capital.
“The people have spoken tonight and they have been loud and clear,” he said. “They are angry. They are paying for an economic recession they didn’t cause, they are frustrated when they look at the dysfunction and degradation in Albany. They want that government in Albany to change, and that’s what they are going to get.”
Locally, the state senator representing St. John’s district, republican Frank Padavan, who had held his seat since 1973, lost to democrat and former City Councilman Tony Avella. Assemblyman David Weprin, a democrat, held onto his position which he had won in a special election earlier this year.
In New York City, voters decided to revert term limits back to two consecutive from three. The measure had been altered several years ago to allow Mayor Bloomberg to pursue his current term. Voters also approved a measure that restructured several aspects of the current administration, including the election process.
Across the state, projections had Democrats maintaining their hold, with both U.S. Senate incumbent candidates, Kristen Gillibrand and Charles Schumer claiming victory early on. Out of the 29 U.S. House seats up for grabs, an early CNN poll estimated that more than half would remain in the party.
Nationally, Democrats were dealt a huge blow when early projections showed the Republicans taking back control of the House. Although the party managed to barely maintain control of the Senate, they now have a much smaller margin to rely upon.
Republicans also were reported to have picked up about nine governor positions from Democratic incumbents, according to CNN. This shift gave them a majority of governors, including several GOP women.
Many likened the shift in House seats to the 1994 midterm elections, where Republicans took control of Congress during former president Bill Clinton’s first term. CNN reported that the GOP would pick up about 60 seats in the House, the largest swing since 1948.