State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat and son of Queens who grew up in Hollis Hills, won a promotion from the people of New York Tuesday when he was elected governor, easily defeating Republican nominee Carl Paladino and a slew of minor party candidates.
Cuomo took 2,532,447 votes, according to preliminary results, about 62 percent of the total, compared to 1,399,235, or 34 percent, cast for Paladino.
Cuomo’s running mate, the next lieutenant governor, is Robert Duffy, the mayor of upstate Rochester.
The governor-elect ran on a platform of cleaning up corruption in Albany and finally getting a grip on the state’s financial crisis. Just this week the Budget Division announced that deficits over the next several years will be even worse than projected a few months ago if nothing changes.
“The mandate tonight is to clean up Albany and to have elected officials who represent the people of this state and not the special interests and not the lobbyists,” he said in his victory speech.
Cuomo led a sweep of statewide offices by Democrats, defying a trend across the nation that saw the Republican Party retake the House of Representatives and make gains in the U.S. Senate.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) won another term with 66 percent of the vote, while Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), appointed to her position by Gov. David Paterson, took 61 percent of the vote.
State Sen. Eric Schneiderman was elected attorney general with 55 percent, defeating Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan, who took 44 percent. And state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli was re-elected, though by a closer margin than the others: 50 percent compared to 47 percent for challenger Harry Wilson.
Control of the state Senate, where Democrats were seeking to hold onto a razor-thin margin, remained up in the air immediately following the election because of several races that were too close to call — none in Queens.
But the biggest upset of the night in the borough came when longtime Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) was defeated by former City Councilman Tony Avella of Whitestone. Avella was given the nod by 53 percent of voters, compared to 47 percent who went for Padavan.
Also key to Senate control was the re-election of Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), who defeated challenger Anthony Como with a comfortable 57 percent of the vote. Como, however, declined to concede, announcing Wednesday that he wants the tally reviewed first.
If initial results across the state hold up, a 31-31 draw between the major parties in the Senate is possible.
Across Queens, many incumbent Democrats dominated their Republican opponents. Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica) won 85 percent of the vote, while Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens and Bronx) took 80 percent. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens and Brooklyn) won with a comfortable 59 percent, 4 percent more than President Obama received in Weiner’s district in 2008.
One of the most hotly contested races in the borough was the special election in southeastern Queens to succeed the late City Councilman Tom White Jr., who died last summer. That race was won by Ruben Wills with 31 percent of the vote, a strong plurality in a field of eight contenders.
Voters also supported the city’s two ballot measures by landslide margins, with 74 percent backing the latest term limit proposal and 83 percent voting for a lengthy series of other administrative and political reforms.
Election 2010 winners
Governor of New York State Andrew Cuomo (D) 62%
Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy (D) 62%
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) 55%
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (D) 50%
U.S. Senator (full term) Chuck Schumer (D) 66%
U.S. Senator (partial term) Kirsten Gillibrand (D) 61%
5th Congressional District Gary Ackerman (D) 62%
6th Congressional District Greg Meeks (D) 85%
7th Congressional District Joe Crowley (D) 80%
9th Congressional District Anthony Weiner (D) 59%
12th Congressional District Nydia Velazquez (D) 93%
14th Congressional District Carolyn Maloney (D) 75%
10th State Senatorial District Shirley Huntley (D) NA
11th State Senatorial District Tony Avella (D) 53%
12th State Senatorial District Mike Gianaris (D) 81%
13th State Senatorial District Jose Peralta (D) 83%
14th State Senatorial District Malcolm Smith (D) 77%
15th State Senatorial District Joe Addabbo Jr. (D) 57%
16th State Senatorial District Toby Stavisky (D) 88%
22nd State Assembly District Grace Meng (D) NA
23rd State Assembly District Audrey Pheffer (D) 67%
24th State Assembly District David Weprin (D) 67%
25th State Assembly District Rory Lancman (D) NA
26th State Assembly District Ed Braunstein (D) 59%
27th State Assembly District Nettie Mayersohn (D) NA
28th State Assembly District Andrew Hevesi (D) 54%
29th State Assembly District Bill Scarborough (D) NA
30th State Assembly District Marge Markey (D) 60%
31st State Assembly District Michele Titus (D) NA
32nd State Assembly District Vivian Cook (D) NA
33rd State Assembly District Barbara Clark (D) NA
34th State Assembly District Michael DenDekker (D) NA
35th State Assembly District Jeff Aubry (D) NA
36th State Assembly District Aravella Simotas (D) NA
37th State Assembly District Catherine Nolan (D) 84%
38th State Assembly District Mike Miller (D) 69%
39th State Assembly District Francisco Moya (D) NA
28th City Council District Ruben Wills (D) *31%
Ballot Question 1: Term Limits Approved74%
Ballot Question 2: Administration Approved83%
All results are preliminary until certified
NA: Not Available; All Races in Which the Winner Faced No Major-Party Opponent
* The Special City Council Election Was Non-Partisan, But Wills is a Democrat
Source: NY1, using NYC/NYS boards of elections results; only 97 percent of votes tallied in some races