NEW YORK (PIX11) — Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin on Wednesday afternoon congratulated Gov. Kathy Hochul on her election win, conceding defeat in the race for governor.
Hochul declared victory late on Tuesday. She officially won the race early Wednesday, becoming the first woman elected as governor in New York. She is the first upstate governor to be elected in over a century.
“Those controlling Albany should take note. New Yorkers of all walks of life are sick of the attacks on their wallets, their safety, their freedoms and the quality of their kids’ education and are hitting their breaking point, as proven by these results,” he said. “As they take office in January, Governor Kathy Hochul and those controlling Albany must address the grave concerns voiced by the voters. While this campaign has come to a close, the rescue mission to Save Our State continues.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Zeldin had refused to concede defeat. He said he was waiting for additional voting results to come in.
“We hope that as these results come in that we’ll be able to prevail,” he said.
Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in New York and state residents haven’t elected a Republican as governor since former Gov. George Pataki. But Zeldin surged in the polls in the weeks before the election, closing in on Hochul’s lead and making it a competitive race.
“This race was a once in a generation campaign, with a very close margin in the bluest of blue states,” Zeldin said. “The unrelenting passion and hard work of our grassroots volunteers and supporters made this incredibly close race possible and helped us win at least 49 of New York’s 62 counties. Republicans, Democrats and Independents united as New Yorkers, pouring their heart and soul into this campaign.”