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

New York Governor Kathy Hochul celebrating her victory in the state's Democratic primary on June 28, 2022.
Governor Kathy Hochul
New York Governor Kathy Hochul celebrating her victory in the state's Democratic primary on June 28, 2022.

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

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

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

Hochul beat back challenges from New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a progressive, and moderate Democrat and Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi. Neither candidate had much money — compared to Hochul’s multi-million-dollar campaign fund — or name recognition, 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 Governor 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. And 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.”

Lieutenant Governor and former Congressman Antonio Delgado, Hochul’s running mate, also won over progressive candidate Ana Maria Archila and moderate Diana Reyna.

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

Delgado called for unity in the wake of the 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 Congressman Lee Zeldin won a close race in a four-way primary, beating out Rob Astorino, Harry Wilson and Andrew Giuliani, son of former New York City Mayor and Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani.

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, and he promised to end all COVID-19 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 has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.