BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Election Day has come and gone. Who won the big races in Western New York?
Info on some of the top races is below. You can view complete election results here.
Governor of New York
Governor Kathy Hochul, who succeeded Andrew Cuomo upon his resignation in August 2021, is seeking a full four-year term in office. The Buffalo Democrat served as Erie County Clerk and a U.S. House member before becoming Cuomo’s Lieutenant Governor in 2015.
She is being challenged by Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, who currently represents New York’s 1st Congressional District in Long Island. Prior to his time in Washington, Zeldin served as a New York State Senator.
Recent polling shows Zeldin has closed within single digits of Hochul. A gubernatorial election in New York State has not finished within 10 points since George Pataki beat Mario Cuomo in 1994.
A Hochul victory would mark the first time a woman has been elected to the governor’s mansion. She’d also be the first upstate governor elected in over a century — not since Cortland County’s Nathan L. Miller was elected in 1920 has the governor held a true upstate background.
A win by Zeldin would make him the first Republican governor of New York since Pataki, who held the office from 1995 through 2006.
U.S. House of Representatives – New York’s 23rd Congressional District
The newly redrawn 23rd Congressional District includes the western part of New York’s Southern Tier, as well as part of suburban Erie County. Republican Rep. Chris Jacobs was expected to easily win this seat. However, after coming out in favor of gun control measures, he announced he would not seek re-election.
New York State Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy will be on the GOP line. Prior to serving as state chair, Langworthy was the leader of Erie County’s Republican Party. While he does not live in the district, Langworthy grew up in South Dayton, which is part of the district.
Langworthy will have to defeat Democrat Max Della Pia to win a seat in Congress. Della Pia, who does not live in the district either, is an Air Force veteran who is currently the chairman of the Tioga County Democratic Committee.
U.S. House of Representatives – New York’s 24th Congressional District
The wide-reaching 24th Congressional District in New York State stretches from Lockport in Niagara County, through the Finger Lakes, and up beyond Watertown to the St. Lawrence River in Jefferson County.
Rep. Claudia Tenney, who currently represents a district that runs from Oswego County down to Broome County, has the Republican line. She is being challenged by Democrat Steven Holden, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel.
Neither Tenney nor Holden live in the district.
U.S. House of Representatives – New York’s 26th Congressional District
Rep. Brian Higgins is seeking a 10th term in Congress in a district that includes the Cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, as well as the populous surrounding suburbs.
Higgins is challenged by Republican Steven Sams.
New York State Senate – 61st District
In one of just two New York State Senate races in which two incumbents are facing off, Democrat Sean Ryan and Republican Ed Rath are trying to represent a newly redrawn district that includes Amherst, Tonawanda, Grand Island, and part of Buffalo.
Both Rath and Ryan represent areas currently encompassed in the new district – Rath representing Amherst and Ryan representing Tonawanda, Grand Island, and part of Buffalo.
Erie County Clerk
Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns, a Democrat who is running with GOP support on the Republican line, is being challenged by Eden Town Supervisor Melissa Hartman. Kearns and Hartman faced each other in a Democratic primary earlier this year. Hartman, who was backed by Democratic officials, easily won to earn the line in the general election.
Result: The environmental measure appeared on track to pass, with Yes leading No by more than 1.5 million votes with about 85% of ballots counted.
There is only one statewide ballot proposal this year, voting on the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022.
The ballot will read: “To address and combat the impact of climate change and damage to the environment, the ‘Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022’ authorizes the sale of state bonds up to four billion two hundred million dollars to fund environmental protection, natural restoration, resiliency, and clean energy projects. Shall the Environmental Bond Act of 2022 be approved?”
More info can be found here.
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who started working at WIVB in 2017. A Lancaster native, he came to Buffalo after working at stations in Rochester and Watertown. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.