UPDATED: Democrats sweep midterms, officials call governor’s race

Absentee ballot box for election day at the Marble Hill Community Center at 5365 Broadway.
Absentee ballot box for election day at the Marble Hill Community Center at 5365 Broadway.
Photo ET Rodriguez

This story was last updated at 11:38 a.m. on Nov. 9. Polls in New York City closed at 9 p.m. on Nov. 8.

Results from the midterm elections are showing big wins for Democrats in city and statewide races Wednesday morning. 

Multiple contests were called yesterday — including those of U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, Bronx 80th District Assemblymember John Zaccaro Jr., and 83rd Assemblymember Carl Heastie, to name just a few.

One of the races the Associated Press waited to call until late was the New York gubernatorial bid — with incumbent Kathy Hochul only just ahead of challenger Lee Zeldin close to 11 p.m., according to preliminary data from the New York State Board of Elections.

Although many voters considered the race close, the AP declared Hochul the winner at 12:52 a.m. Wednesday — making her the first woman to be elected governor of New York outright, after she took over for former Gov. Andrew Cuomo upon his resignation. 

Bronx voters had the opportunity to cast their votes for both congressional and state races yesterday, as well as various ballot measures. At the national level, Bronxites voted to fill one Senate and four House seats. Statewide, they also took their pick for five state Senate and 11 state Assembly seats, as well as the governor’s post, state comptroller and attorney general. 

Voters inside the Fort Independence Community Center in the Kingsbridge Heights section of the Bronx on Tuesday afternoon.
Voters inside the Fort Independence Community Center in the Kingsbridge Heights section of the Bronx on Tuesday afternoon. Photo ET Rodriguez

Voters around the Bronx on Tuesday highlighted abortion, public safety and inflation as key issues that motivated them to make it to the polls, while others simply said they’re voting in the midterms to exercise their rights and independence. 

“Well, it’s our right to vote, and so things can better themselves,” said Gladys Cardenes, a voter at NYCHA’s Fort Independence Houses. 

The last unofficial data provided by the New York City Board of Elections (BOE) showed that more than 119,000 Bronx voters had checked in to polling places during the 6 a.m.-6 p.m. period on Tuesday. In total, more than 158,000 Bronxites had already checked in for the midterms by 6 p.m. Tuesday — including early voters. 

The BOE also posted unofficial absentee voting information around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night, which showed that of the 23,043 absentee ballots mailed to Bronx voters, 11,556 of them were deemed valid and 229 of them invalid.

NY1 conducted a poll of about 3,000 voters before the polls closed Tuesday night, and reported that 46% of respondents said democracy was the single most important factor that motivated them to get out to vote in the midterms. 

One of the most notable Bronx politicians up for reelection this year was Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who rose to fame after upsetting longtime House member Joe Crowley in the 2018 midterms. 

Ocasio-Cortez, who won her third term representing New York’s 14th Congressional District last night, embraces a democratic socialist platform that argues for free college, full cancellation of $1.6 trillion of student debt and single-payer Medicare for All. While she fostered a strong base through her town halls and social media, she’s also drawn criticism from those on the far-right and moderates in the Democratic Party.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., greets patrons of the Bhanchha Ghar restaurant, Wednesday, July 6, 2022, during a tour of the Jackson Heights neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. As she seeks a third term this year and navigates the implications of being celebrity in her own right, she’s determined to avoid any suggestion that she is losing touch with her constituents (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Tina Forte, a Throggs Neck resident who prides herself on not being a polished politician and was part of the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, was a Republican challenger for the NY-14 seat. 

In campaign ads, Forte has said she ran for Congress because she’s had enough of Ocasio-Cortez’s agenda. Forte has said she supports congressional term limits, banning congress members and their immediate families from trading stocks and balancing the country’s budget. She has used local hot button issues such as the scrapped Orchard Beach migrant tent plans and the rezoning of Bruckner Boulevard to continue to tout populist rhetoric.

Forte was considered a long shot to unseat Ocasio-Cortez, a Parkchester native, due to the incumbent’s high-profile status in local and national politics and the overwhelming Democratic voter registration advantage in the split Bronx-Queens district.



Unofficial early results from the New York State Board of Elections:


U.S. Senate

Incumbent Chuck Schumer (Democrat): 55.05%
Challenger Joe Pinion(Conservative party): 42.54%
Challenger Dane Care (Independent): 0.45%


U.S House of Representatives

13th Congressional District —
Incumbent Adriano Espaillat (Democrat): 81.60%


14th Congressional District —
Incumbent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democrat): 67.18%
Challenger Tina Forte (Republican): 26.14%
Challenger Desi Cuellar (Conservative): 1.81%


15th Congressional District —
Incumbent Ritchie Torres (Democrat): 74.99%
Challenger Stylo A. Sapaskis (Republican): 15.77%


16th Congressional District —
Incumbent Jamaal Bowman (Democrat): 58.06%
Challenger Dr. Miriam Levitt Flisser (Republican): 35.40%


Incumbent Kathy Hochul (Democrat): 52.16%
Challenger Lee Zeldin (Republican): 47.02%


State Comptroller
Incumbent Thomas DiNapoli (Democrat): 58.97%
Challenger Paul Rodriguez (Republican): 37.71%


Attorney General
Incumbent Letitia James (Democrat): 55.00%
Challenger Michael Henry (Republican): 41.91%


Unofficial early results from the New York City Board of Elections:

State Senate


31st Senatorial District —
Incumbent Robert Jackson (Democrat): 84.99%
Challenger Donald Skinner (Republican): 14.82%


32nd State Senatorial District —
Incumbent Luis Sepúlveda (Democrat): 83.09% 
Challenger Antonio Melendez Sr. (Republican): 14.61%
Challenger Dion Powell (Conservative): 2.13%


34th State Senatorial District — open seat
Nathalia Fernandez (Democrat): 64.88% 
Samantha Zherka (Republican): 35.03%


State Assembly


77th Assembly District —
Incumbent Latoya Joyner (Democrat): 86.26%
Challenger Tanya Carmichael (Republican): 13.64%


78th Assembly District — open seat
George Alvarez (Democrat): 80.36%
Michael Dister (Republican): 19.35%


79th Assembly District —
Incumbent Chantel Jackson (Democrat): 86.92%
Challenger Richard Bryan (Republican): 12.92%


80th Assembly District — open seat
John Zaccaro Jr. (Democrat): 69.28%
Phyllis Nastasio (Republican): 30.59%


81st Assembly District —
Incumbent Jeffrey Dinowitz (Democrat): 75.54%
Challenger Jessica Altagracia Woolford (Working Families): 10.17%
Challenger Kevin Pazmino (Conservative Party): 14.11%


82nd Assembly District —
Incumbent Michael Benedetto (Democrat): 66.25%
Challenger John Greaney (Republican): 33.64%


83rd Assembly District —
Incumbent Carl Heastie (Democrat): 92.61%
Challenger Tristann Davis (Republican): 7.30%


84th Assembly District —
Incumbent Amanda Septimo (Democrat): 83.30%
Challenger Rosaline Nieves (Republican): 16.54%


85th Assembly District —
Incumbent Kenneth Burgos (Democrat): 84.71%
Challenger Laurine Berry (Republican): 15.17%


86th Assembly District —
Incumbent Yudelka Tapia (Democrat): 82.71%
Challenger Betty Obregon (Republican): 17.17%


87th Assembly District —
Incumbent Karines Reyes (Democrat): 82.67%
Challenger Ariel Rivera-Diaz (Republican): 17.21%

This story was updated to clarify that incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul is the first woman to be elected governor of New York outright, since she took over for former Gov. Andrew Cuomo upon his resignation. 

— Robbie Sequeira and ET Rodriguez contributed to this report. 

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