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What about Long Island? Here are races to watch in New York's midterm election

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Alexander F. Yuan
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AP

Voting concludes Tuesday in the New York midterm elections for governor, U.S. Senate and Congress. Local races could also determine control over the state Legislature. Voters have a statewide ballot question to invest over $4 billion in the environment, as well as several local ballot referendums on Long Island.

Check back here for results, which are expected to trickle in hours — if not, days — after Election Day.

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Incumbent Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul becomes New York’s first woman elected head of state, defeating challenger Republican candidate Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY1).

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Hochul for Governor campaign
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Hochul became the state’s first woman to hold the office in August 2021 when then-Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned amid impeachment hearings into sexual misconduct allegations and his handling of the pandemic.

Hochul’s campaign emphasized access to abortion, including protections for medical service providers and patients from other states. She also supports gun control legislation after a shooting killed 10 people at a grocery store in her hometown of Buffalo.

She beats Lee Zeldin who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, after serving on Trump’s legal team during his impeachment hearings. Zeldin also sought to overturn President Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election.

Other statewide races include state attorney general and comptroller. Democrat Letitia James is reelected to serve as New York’s top prosecutor, beating Republican attorney Michael Henry.

Republican Paul Rodriguez is running to unseat state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a Democrat who has held the position since 2007.

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U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is the winner of the Senate race in New York.

Schumer has held his seat since 1999, and has been the U.S. Senate Majority Leader since January 2021. Just in his previous six-year term, Schumer has campaigned for initiatives to improve infrastructure across New York as well as environmental action. In July, the senate passed his bipartisan semiconductor, science and tech innovation bill, which he said would create jobs and boost upstate New York’s economy.

Democrats held a majority with 48 senators and two independent senators who caucus with them — with Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote.

However, 14 Democratic senate seats and 21 Republicans seats are up for election this year, which means closely divided races — and his own race — could determine if Schumer keeps his position as majority leader.

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Republican Nick LaLota defeats Democrat Bridget Fleming in the race to represent the 1st District. The seat was left vacant by Rep. Lee Zeldin’s run for governor.

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Republican incumbent Andrew Garbarino (R-NY2) is elected to a second term representing the 2nd District. It was a rematch against his 2020 opponent, Democrat Jackie Gordon, who is a veteran and educator for nearly 30 years.

Garbarino serves on the House Small Business and the House Homeland Security Committees. He has worked to support law enforcement, expand cybersecurity protections, and healthcare and housing for veterans. Prior to Congress, he served as a member of the New York State Assembly from 2013-20.

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In New York's 3rd District, Republican George Devolder-Santos defeats Democrat Robert Zimmerman, in a race that featured the first time in U.S. history that both candidates identify as openly gay in a general election for Congress.

The seat was left open by Rep. Tom Suozzi's (D-NY3) unsuccessful run for governor of New York.

Devolder-Santos is a Wall Street financier and investor. A first generation American, he vows to control tax hikes and rising inflation.

Santos is against abortion and supports Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill ‒‒ a law that prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through grade 3.

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Republican Anthony D'Esposito defeats Democrat Laura Gillen in the race to represent the 4th district, which was left vacant by Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY4).

D'Esposito is a Hempstead Town councilman and was re-elected in 2021 to serve an additional four-year term.

A retired NYPD officer, D'Esposito has prioritized public safety throughout his campaign.

Other notable U.S. House races

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Republican state Assemblyman Mike Lawler beats Democrat incumbent Sean Patrick Maloney in the new 17th District after redistricting scrambled the map earlier this year.

Lawler was elected in 2020 to the New York State Assembly. He focused much of his campaign on supporting law enforcement to reduce crime and cut excessive federal spending to stem inflation.

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Democratic incumbent Pat Ryan faces Republican state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt in the 18th district. Ryan won August’s special election over Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro to serve the rest of now-Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado’s term in the 19th district. Schmitt was elected in 2018 to the New York State Assembly and re-elected in 2020. Schmitt has passed bipartisan legislative focus on tax relief and ethics reform. Ryan has focused on abortion rights.

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Marc Molinaro — whose political career began as a teenage mayor, came through the statehouse and included a 2018 run for governor, wins the seat for the new 19th District.

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Democrat Francis Conole and Republican Brandon Williams are running in the 22nd district. Both candidates are military veterans with ties to Central New York and say they plan to draw on their military leadership skills to represent residents. Conole, a Navy Reserves Commander, supports protecting medicare and women’s health. He also wants to modernize roads, bridges, and transportation networks. Williams, a former Navy nuclear submarine officer and Wall street banker, opposed COVID-19 protocols in schools, and believes the mandates negatively impacted students.

Ballot Initiatives

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For a wild northern river like Quebec Brook in New York's Adirondack Mountains you need a small, light canoe that's easy to carry.
Brian Mann
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NPR
For a wild northern river like Quebec Brook in New York's Adirondack Mountains you need a small, light canoe that's easy to carry.

Environmental Bond Act: The $4.2 billion Environmental Bond Act received majority support across the state of New York on Tuesday's midterm election.

The bond measure includes money for pollution reduction, flood and coast protection, land conservation and water infrastructure improvements. It requires the state to use at least 35% of its aid to benefit economically and environmentally disadvantaged communities.

Suffolk County term limits: On Long Island, voters in Suffolk County will have a chance to set term limits for the county executive, comptroller and legislators. The initiative is part of a law signed by County Executive Steve Bellone in June. Bellone said the bill will prevent corruption and give others more opportunities to hold office.

Term limits have existed in Suffolk County since 1993. But the original statute contained a loophole that allowed individuals to run again after a break in service once their 12 consecutive years were complete. The purpose of this measure is to clarify that term limits for those positions are for a total of 12 years, not just consecutively.

The measure stems from a dispute in 2021 between former Democratic Legislator Kate Browning who sought to run again after she was term-limited in 2017. Bellone will also reach the end of his 12-year term limit and will not run next year, opening up the seat.

  • A "yes" vote supports setting the term limits for Suffolk county executive, comptroller and legislators at 12 years total.
  • A "no" vote opposes setting the term limits for Suffolk county executive, comptroller and legislators at 12 years total.

East End housing: Four of the Long Island’s five East End towns — East Hampton, Shelter Island, Southampton and Southold — are including a ballot measure that would create an affordable housing fund through a 0.5% tax on home purchases.

If the referendum passes, the towns will be able to create the Peconic Bay Region Community Housing Act, which was passed in New York last year.

It follows the creation of the Community Preservation Fund over 20 years ago. It’s a 2% real estate transfer tax, which has generated over $250 million in the last year for environmental stewardship.

The goal of the Community Housing Fund is to provide more affordable housing for essential workers and young families through first-time homebuyer assistance, employer housing for seasonal workers, the purchase of vacant lots for housing, and more.

All first-time homebuyers, and current homeowners will not have to pay any fees.

The Riverhead Town Board was the outlier in the Peconic Bay region, opting not to include the measure on its ballot.

  • A "yes" vote supports the creation of the Peconic Bay Region Community Housing Act using funding from a 0.5% real estate transfer fee. 
  • A "no" vote opposes the creation of the Peconic Bay Region Community Housing Act using funding from a 0.5% real estate transfer fee. 
Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.
A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.
Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.
Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.
Lauren is a news intern at WSHU for the fall of 2022.
Sydney is a news intern at WSHU for the fall of 2022.