New York Gov. Kathy Hochul won the Democratic primary for governor Tuesday, becoming the first woman to ever win a major-party gubernatorial nomination in the Empire State, the Associated Press projected.
The AP called the race for Hochul at 9:26 p.m.
Hochul, of Buffalo, easily warded off challenges from fellow Democrats Tom Suozzi – a Long Island congressman running to Hochul’s right – and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who had the backing of much of the party’s progressive wing.
She will go on to face the winner of the four-way Republican primary between Lee Zeldin, Harry Wilson, Rob Astorino and Andrew Giuliani, which was too close to call as of 9:26 p.m.
Hochul planned on celebrating her win with members of the Democratic establishment at the Tribeca Rooftop event venue, where she was slated to deliver her victory speech underneath a literal glass ceiling – a skylight looking out into the night.
Hochul was expected to be joined by Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado and party leaders from across the state. Less than a half hour after Hochul was declared the projected winner, Delgado was declared the projected winner by the AP, defeating a challenge from progressive activist Ana Maria Archila (who ran with Williams) and former New York City Councilmember Diana Reyna (who ran with Suozzi).
The governor campaigned on her 10-month record in office, which began when she took over after embattled former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned amid scandal in August.
She blanketed the airwaves and social media networks with seemingly ubiquitous advertisements that introduced her to voters. After the draft U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade leaked in May, Hochul aired ads touting her support of abortion rights and went on to sign additional protections for abortion providers and seekers into law.
Other ads have highlighted her support for gun-control measures, including a bill she signed into law that raised the age to purchase a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21. It was one of a series of gun-control bills passed in the wake of the Buffalo supermarket shooting that left 10 dead last month.
Hochul was able to fund those ads through a record-breaking campaign fundraising push that saw her amass more than $30 million, more than tripling her two Democratic opponents combined. Much of that money came from donors with business before the state, including major players in the New York City real-estate industry. As of mid-June she had $12 million on hand.
Williams and Suozzi both faulted Hochul for spearheading a deal to build a new, $1.3 billion stadium for the Buffalo Bills, which includes $850 million in direct public funding. They also latched on to Hochul’s prior support from the National Rifle Association, which gave her an “A” rating when she represented a conservative western New York district in Congress a decade ago. That support was based in part on a 2011 vote in favor of making it easier for gun owners with a concealed carry permit to cross state lines.
During a pair of Democratic debates, Hochul said she has “evolved” on the issue of gun rights and now supports strict controls. She has summoned the state Legislature back to Albany this coming Thursday to pass measures in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision making it easier to obtain a permit to carry a gun in public.
Under state election law, the winners of the governor and lieutenant governor primaries will run as a single ticket in November.
Hochul now moves on to the general election, where she will be running in a state with more than twice as many Democrats as Republicans. No Republican has won a statewide race in New York since George Pataki won a third term as governor in 2002.