BY TRIBUNE STAFF
Election Night was mostly bleak for Democrats in New York State and throughout the country, but New York State’s top offices stayed firmly entrenched in the hands of its Democratic incumbents.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo took 54 percent of the vote to a second term, defeating Republican Rob Astorino and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins. Cuomo’s running mate, former U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul, will replace Robert Duffy as Cuomo’s Lieutenant Governor.
The other two state-wide seats up for re-election Tuesday night, Comptroller and Attorney General, also saw the incumbents defeat their challengers. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman held off a challenge from Republican John Cahill to take 55.5 percent of the vote, while Comptroller Tom DiNapoli took 60 percent of the vote, defeating Republican Robert Antonacci.
While the State Senate is now under Republican control, the shift was not represented in Queens. Democratic incumbents Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Tony Avella (D-Bayside) both took more than 90 percent of the vote over third-party challenges. Other than State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (see story on this page), no other members of the Queens State Senate delegation faced challenges. The only race to feature a new State Senator was in District 10, where Leroy Comrie will replace State Sen. Malcolm Smith, who lost the September Primary.
In the Assembly, only Ron Kim (see story on this page) and Catherine Nolan faced challenges, but both were victorious. Nolan took almost 93 percent of the vote against Libertarian challenger John Wilson.
In Congressional elections, Queens incumbents Joseph Crowley, Carolyn Maloney, Gregory Meeks, Nydia Velazquez and Steve Israel all defeated their challengers. U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, who became the first Asian Congressional representative on the East Coast in 2012, ran unopposed.
New Yorkers also approved three ballot initiatives on Tuesday. The first proposal, creating a change in the decennial redistricting process, passed with 57 percent of the vote. A proposal to issue bonds up to $2 billion dollars for technology in school also passed, with 61.7 percent of the vote. The final ballot measure, to publish legislative bills electronically, received an overwhelming 77 percent.