NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo won a second term on Tuesday by easily dispatching a challenge from Republican Rob Astorino, becoming the first Democratic governor since his father, Mario Cuomo, to win re-election in the nation’s third-largest state.

CBS2’s Marcia Kramer was at Cuomo’s headquarters in Times Square Tuesday night where the excitement was building.

“We began our journey four years ago with some very clear directions,” he said in his victory speech Tuesday night. “We were going to return stability and make us the progressive capitol of the nation,” he said.

As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported, with his daughters and girlfriend at his side, Democrats roared when Mario Cuomo joined his son on stage.

The 56-year-old Cuomo will begin his second term with a long list of challenges, including the implementation of a new medical marijuana law, a decision on whether to allow fracking for natural gas and the selection of up to four new casino operators upstate.

Liberals are expected to press Cuomo to make good on promises to push for a higher minimum wage, abortion rights protections and broad public campaign financing.

Cuomo’s running mate, former U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul, of Buffalo, was elected lieutenant governor over Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss and will replace Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy, who is retiring.

As Kramer reported, there were many voters who, because they thought Cuomo was a shoo-in, cast “anti” votes.

Astorino hoped that would help him, but Cuomo took no chances.

“Four years ago when we started, the state was basically bankrupt and the state was basically gridlocked. It was a mess four years ago,” Cuomo said. “You look at this state four years later, it is in a fundamentally different place. Taxes are down for every New Yorker, we have record job growth.”

Cuomo consistently led the lesser-known Astorino in the polls and enjoyed a nearly 10-to-1 fundraising advantage over the Westchester County executive in the campaign’s final weeks.

“You saw what kind of race Andrew Cuomo ran, which was increasingly more vile and desperate and panicked and he did some real ugly things. At the end, I think voters are going to reject that,” Astorino said.

As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, Astorino said  he called Cuomo to concede but said he hopes Cuomo heard the voices of New Yorkers during the campaign. He also left the door open for future political fights.

In conceding the race, Astorino said Cuomo needs to take action because New York state is failing in many ways.

“There is no excuse for us, losing to the other states in this nation. We were once number one, now we are basically 50th,” he said.

Astorino added: “The old Empire State needs to strike back now. The corruption in Albany needs to stop.”

At the governor’s polling place in Mount Kisco earlier Tuesday, about 70 Cuomo supporters chanting “Four more years!” drowned out two dozen anti-hydraulic-fracturing protesters who shouted, “Ban fracking now!”

Cuomo arrived in a black SUV with his girlfriend, TV chef Sandra Lee.

“It really is a special day and I’m excited about today,” Cuomo said. “I’ve enjoyed the entire campaign. I just fundamentally feel good about it.”

After voting, Cuomo acknowledged hydraulic fracturing is a “very hot” and “totally divisive issue.” He said opinions are split 50-50 among “equally committed” sides.

Astorino voted at Hawthorne Elementary School. With him were his wife, Sheila, and their three children: Sean, 12, Kiley, 9, and Ashlin, 5, who carried a stuffed animal.

“Good morning everybody!” Astorino said. “Let’s do it together, ready?” he said to Ashlin, who stayed by his side as he voted.

Answering reporters’ questions afterward, Astorino said Cuomo, “pumped millions” of dollars into “nasty, false ads.”

Asked to comment, Cuomo campaign spokesman Matt Wing said that was “a nasty thing to say on Election Day.”

Astorino has criticized Cuomo as an Albany insider who hadn’t done enough for the economy, while Cuomo campaigned on his record over the past four years, including tax cuts, tighter gun control, legalization of gay marriage, reductions in government gridlock and a renewed focus on the upstate economy.

“Look at the state four years later,” he said. “We went from a $10 billion deficit to a $4 billion surplus.”

But Astorino refused to back down, raising questions about the Moreland Commission, an ethics panel Cuomo first established and then shut down. Federal prosecutors are investigating how it was handled.

“Cuomo doesn’t know anything about the truth,” Astorino said. “I think it’s impossible for him to tell the truth.”

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