ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Three-term Democratic New York U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer won reelection Tuesday night, beating a challenge from a little-known and poorly funded Republican New York City lawyer.
“I’ll be working for New York as hard as ever,” Schumer told a cheering crowd.
Schumer is in line to succeed retiring Nevada Sen. Harry Reid as leader of Senate Democrats next year. He’s poised to become majority leader if he wins and the Democrats retake the Senate.
Schumer was first elected to Congress in 1980 and hasn’t faced a serious challenge in the heavily Democratic state since defeating Republican incumbent Sen. Alfonse D’Amato in 1998.
On Tuesday he faced Wendy Long, who has linked herself to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his policy proposals in her second run for the Senate.
In 2012, Long challenged Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand as Gillibrand sought her first full term. Gillibrand won easily.
Meanwhile, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat won the race for the 13th Congressional District seat, with 89 percent of the vote compared with 7 percent for Republican Tony Evans. Espaillat will replace Rep. Charles Rangel, who has served continuously since 1971.
Meanwhile, former Republican state lawmaker John Faso has defeated progressive champion Zephyr Teachout, allowing the GOP to hang on to a hotly contested open House seat in upstate New York.
The race in the Hudson Valley swing district swing district now held by retiring Republican Rep. Chris Gibson was marked by a flood of outside money.
Democrats hoped the district would be one of several pick-ups in New York.
Faso returns to elected office 14 years after he left the state Assembly, where he was minority leader. He ran unsuccessfully for state comptroller in 2002 and governor in 2006.
Teachout galvanized liberals with her surprisingly strong 2014 primary challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election bid.
On Long Island, there was a race to replace convicted former Senate majority leader Dean Skelos. Democrat Todd Kaminsky faces Republican Chris McGrath. On the North Shore, Democrat Adam Haber faces Republican Elaine Phillips.
Democrat Tom Suozzi and Republican Jack Martins also vied to fill a congressional seat currently held by Democrat Steve Israel, who is not running for re-election.
Suozzi waved to people on the side of the road after he voted at a polling place in Glen Cove, 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr reported.
“Nothing for granted, keep on moving full speed ahead,” Suozzi said.
Republican Jack Martins shook hands with voters at a diner in Williston Park.
“I feel that there’s momentum towards our ticket,” Martins said.
Both said this has been a divisive campaign year, and they’ve got experience working with both parties. Suozzi is a former county executive and mayor of Glen Cove. Martins is the former mayor of Mineola and a current member of the state Senate.
While voter turnout appeared strong in many places, voters remained unwilling to share who they voted for, WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.
“I’d rather not say who I voted for, but let’s put it this way, it’s the lesser of two evils to me,” one voter said.
Also on Long Island, there was a special election to finish the term of Nassau County legislator Judith Jacobs, who died earlier this year. Democrat Arnold Drucker faces Republican Louis Imbroto.
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