Live election updates: Race calls and breaking news

Live election updates: Race calls and breaking news

Live election updates: Race calls and breaking news

Democrats in New York clung to their supermajorities in the state legislature as of Wednesday morning, with several competitive races still too close to call, dampening Republican hopes of curbing Albany’s leftward tilt.

Democrats retained control of the 63-seat state Senate, but it remained unclear whether Republicans — who picked up seats on Long Island and flipped another in the Hudson Valley — won the two seats needed to eliminate the veto-proof Democratic supermajority.

In the 150-seat Assembly, Republicans were able to unseat some longtime Democrats in pockets of New York, scoring surprise victories in areas where Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for governor, performed strongly despite losing the race. But even with votes still being counted in other races, Republicans did not appear on track to pick up the eight seats needed to overcome the two-thirds Democratic majority.

Hoping to ride a national wave of momentum in these midterm elections, Republicans have aggressively sought to expand their foothold at the State Capitol, just four years after the anti-Trump backlash he helped the Democrats take control upper house from Republicans in 2018.

Democrats have held the trifecta of power in Albany ever since: the party has controlled the Assembly for nearly five decades and the governor’s mansion for nearly 16 years, a streak that will continue with Gov. Kathy Hochul win on Tuesday. The party’s dominance in the state Capitol has allowed Democrats to enact a series of progressive priorities around housing, abortion rights and climate change.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s victory means Democrats will continue to hold the trifecta of power in Albany. Credit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

But by focusing on voters’ concerns about crime and inflation, Republicans have sought to curb that unfettered power this election cycle, hoping to top the Republican ticket in every district.

In the Assembly, Republicans made gains in southern Brooklyn, a more conservative part of the otherwise overwhelmingly Democratic borough, unseating at least two entrenched Democrats.

They included Steven Cymbrowitz, the 22-year-old Democrat who chairs the House Housing Committee, and Peter J. Abbate Jr., who was first elected in 1986.

Other Assembly races remained unsettled in Long Island and Queens, and some were so close they were headed for recounts, but Democrats expected their current 107-seat majority to fall to between 100 and 103 seats.

William A. Barclay, the Republican minority leader in the Assembly, said he was proud of his party’s gains in the lower house, predicting that Republicans would pick up between five and seven seats.

“Republicans will represent districts they’ve never held before, we’ve flipped a number of seats, and our conference has grown in a redistricting year — something that’s never happened,” he said.

Republicans have made some gains in the Assembly, where William A. Barclay, second from right, is the minority leader.Credit…Hans Pennink/Associated Press

Senate Democrats said they won at least 40 seats – three seats short of their current 43-seat majority – with an additional two races that could be headed for recounts.

“The voters of New York have spoken, electing another strong Democratic majority in the State Senate,” state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Democratic majority leader, said in a statement early Wednesday morning.

Despite this, Senate Republicans made significant inroads on Long Island, a swing region where the party’s public safety message still resonated strongly with suburban and independent voters.

The attack on the one-party government in Albania and the changes made by the democrats state bail lawsRepublicans appear to have won seven of nine seats on Long Island, regaining control of the party there in Nassau and Suffolk counties after ceding it to Democrats in 2018.

The expected losses in Long Island were so dire that Democrats have all but given up spending to protect one of their most vulnerable officials, state Sen. John Brooks, a Democrat who was defeated by his Republican challenger, Steven Rhoads. State Sen. Anna Kaplan, a moderate Democrat first elected in 2018 as part of the so-called blue wave, was defeated by Jack Martins, a Republican who previously served in the state Senate.

“Now is the time to move from politics to the work we were elected to do, which means rolling up our sleeves and working together to solve the real problems facing New York,” Mr. Martins said in a statement.

Jack Martins defeated Anna Kaplan, a moderate Democrat elected in a “blue wave” in 2018. Credit…Johnny Milano for The New York Times

The only glimmer of hope for the Long Island State Democrats was an outright victory Monica Martinez, a former state senator who won a heavily Democratic seat after the courts overturned it in this year’s redistricting process.

Indeed, the new judicial maps helped Democrats pick up at least two open seats that were considered friendly territory, allowing them to avoid further erosion of their Senate majority.

That included a victory for Kristen Gonzalez, who won an uncontested race in a new district that includes progressive hotbeds in Brooklyn and Queens. She will become the third candidate endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America to join the State Senate.

One of the Senate races that remained too close to call was in a newly drawn South Brooklyn seat that includes Sunset Park, the borough’s Chinatown. Many Democrats expected their candidate, Iwen Chu, a former Assembly staffer who is Asian-American, to cruise to victory in the district with large Asian voters.

But she led her Republican opponent, Vito J. Labella, who is white, by just a few hundred votes Wednesday morning, a clear indication that the party’s message on crime has helped turn many Asian voters to Republicans this cycle.

North of New York, Senate Democrats have used their significant fundraising advantage to spend large amounts of money to fend off a number of strong Republican challenges in the Hudson Valley.

But that wasn’t enough to prevent the fall of state Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, a first-term Democrat from Rockland County, who lost to Bill Weber, a Republican.

“This is a very, very difficult political environment that we’re facing,” Mr. Reichlin-Melnick said at an election watch party on Tuesday. “People are angry. They are scared. They are looking for solutions. And they turn to a party that doesn’t have it.”

Jay Root contributed to the reporting.

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