Molinaro Declares Win, Riley Concedes In Race For 19th Congressional District Seat
Gunther Re-Elected to Assembly - But Has Close Race in Sullivan
Peter Oberacker Wins State Senate Seat In Redrawn 51st District
DA Meagan Galligan To Become Judge Galligan In January
(This story was updated at 7:30 pm on Wednesday to reflect new information)
Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday staved off Republican Lee Zeldin and won her first election as governor after taking over in August 2021 following Andrew Cuomo's resignation over sexual harassment allegations.
Hochul - the Buffalo-area native - will become the first female in New York history to be elected to the position.
Antonio Delgado, the former representative of the 19th Congressional District from Rhinebeck, was tapped by Hochul in May to join her ticket and then won his own Democratic primary for Lt. Governor in June.
Looking at the Hochul vs Zeldin results, Hochul pounded Zeldin in all of New York City except Staten Island.
Zeldin won by a commanding margin in Sullivan (60 percent to 39 percent) and won Rockland County, Broome, Orange and by four points in Dutchess County - plus many smaller, rural upstate counties. Zeldin's won his hometown Suffolk County by 17 points after that county's Board of Elections was delayed in tabulating results due to the effects of a recent hack on that county's computer systems.
But Hochul won big in hometown Erie County and nearby Onondaga (Syracuse) as well as Westchester (home of the Senate Majority Leader), Albany and Ulster.
Combined with her dominance in New York City, the 64-year-old Hochul was able to win a very close race, but one that could cost her and Democrats some political capital come January.
Although Hochul did not campaign in Sullivan during this race, she had visited the County three times in recent years: once to celebrate the opening of Resorts World Catskills, once with former Governor Andrew Cuomo (who she replaced following allegations of sexual harassment) to promote tourism (at Bethel Woods) and more recently for a gathering of local Democrats at The Eldred Preserve.
In other key local races, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro defeated Democrat political newcomer Josh Riley for the 19th Congressional District. Riley intially issued a statement early Wednesday saying that "we're down, but we're not out," citing an unknown number of absentee ballots to be counted and affidavit ballots to be processed."
But by Wednesday evening Riley issued a new, lengthy - and gracious - concession statement. Molinaro had declared victory in the race late Tuesday night and that was followed by NBC News and The New York Times calling the race for Molinaro on Wednesday.
At press time just before 1 am on Wednesday, Molinaro held a lead of 6,185 votes. (Nationally, it was too early for anyone to declare that the Republicans had taken back control of the House of Representatives).
Molinaro, who lost a special election for the seat in August to Dem Pat Ryan, campaigned at the Liberty Diner as one of his last stops before polls closed on Tuesday. Molinaro won by a wide margin in Sullivan County, thanks largely to the well-organized Republican machine in Sullivan led by Sheriff Michael Schiff, Undersheriff Eric Chaboty and GOP Party Chair Gary Maas.
"Tonight, the voters of Upstate sent a message that they demand a government that works for them," Molinaro said in a written statement issued at 1:30 am Wednesday. "They just want to feed their families, heat their homes, and feel safe in their communities. I'm honored to have earned the trust of more than 100,000 voters, and I will work everyday to be a worthy member of Congress for both those who did, and did not vote for me. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I'm ready to hit the ground running."
He also made similar remarks just before midnight.
Molinaro had lost the 2018 gubernatorial race to Cuomo.
(Ryan entered the 19th District special election race last May when Delgado joined Hochul's team. He then defeated Molinaro - but then decided to run for the 18th District seat in the general election, which opened the door for Riley).
At 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Forestburgh resident Aileen Gunther - who has served in the New York State Assembly since winning a special election in 2003- was closing in on a victory over Republican Lisa LaBue from Orange County for the 100th District seat. (Update: Gunther won the race by 4,483 votes).
LaBue faced long odds of unseating Gunther when she entered the race in March but made a great showing in her first-ever political campaign.
Republican incumbent Peter Oberacker of Otsego County won the battle for the State Senate's 51st District, which Sullivan County was added to after a special master in May was ordered by a judge to redraw Congressional and State Senate districts around the state. He easily defeated Democrat Eric Ball from Delaware County.
And, Sullivan County District Attorney Meagan Galligan was one of three candidates who won elections as judges in the Third Judicial District. (Galligan garnered the second highest vote total of the four candidates).
That will leaves a vacancy for the position of District Attorney -and it's unclear at press time who will become Acting DA.. Galligan, herself, became acting district attorney in late 2020 when then-DA Jim Farrell won election to become a county court judge.
Governor Kathy Hochul, seen here in Sullivan County in 2018, is now the first female in New York history to be elected as Governor.
Republican Marc Molinaro appears to have defeated Dem Josh Riley for the 19th Congressional District seat. He is poised to replace Pat Ryan in January, who defeated Molinaro in a Special Election over the summer when Antonio Delgado vacated the seat to accept appointment as Lt. Governor. (photo from Zoom interview with The SullivanTimes)
Democrat incumbent Aileen Gunther defeated Lisa LaBue but only won Sullivan County by 1,722 votes. (photo by Rich Klein Photography).
Republican Lisa LaBue of Orange County lost to Democratic incumbent Aileen Gunther of Forestburgh for the 100th Assembly District -but the newcomer made it closer than expected.
Republican Peter Oberacker, at left, easily defeated Democratic newcomer Eric Ball for the State Senate's 51st Senatorial District. (photo by Rich Klein Photography)
District Attorney Meagan Galligan, seen here at the political debates held in Sullivan last month, will join her former boss, Jim Farrell, on the bench as she was one of three candidates elected Tuesday to the Third Judicial District.