NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Republican Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis told her supporters Tuesday night she has beat incumbent Democrat Max Rose.

She declared victory Tuesday night, but the Associated Press is not yet making a projection in the race.

With 90% of precincts reporting at 11 p.m., Malliotakis had the lead with 58% of the vote to Rose’s 42%.

“Today, Staten Island and southern Brooklyn sent a loud and clear message, and that message will resonate from the halls of City Hall to the halls of Congress,” she said.

Rose has not conceded the race.

Latest Results: 11th Congressional District – Max Rose (D-Inc.) vs. Nicole Malliotakis (R)

In a tent outside Staten Island Republican Party headquarters, Malliotakis thanked her supporters and said this was a win for the hard-working New Yorkers.

“What do you think made the difference?” CBS2’s Jessica Layton asked.

“Look, I think the people in this community know me. You know, they spent $20 million in these smear tactics in an attempt to discredit me, but the people in this community know that I’m always there for them, fighting when they need me. Whether it’s against Mayor de Blasio on property taxes, whether it’s helping them recover and rebuild after Hurricane Sandy, whether it’s distributing supplies to our front line workers, helping people apply for unemployment, they know that I’m there for them and I will continue to fight for them as I always have,” Malliotakis said.

Rose also spoke to his supporters Tuesday night.

“I am not ignorant to the realities of the results that have already been turned in, but I do know that my opponent will join me in ensuring that the Board of Elections must conduct a fair and transparent process that demonstrates the strength of our democracy rather than undermining it,” he said.

Watch John Dias’ report —

The 11th District is one of the most contentious districts in the country.

Dias spoke with a Bay Ridge man who was one of the first people in line before his polling place even opened.

“I wanted to get my vote in. This is one of the most important elections of our lifetime — if not the history of this country,” he said.

A massive crowd soon joined him outside P.S. 264. Once the doors opened, they slowly made their way inside and socially distanced.

Many said they were there not only to cast their ballots, but to let go of some election anxiety.

“I feel much better now that I voted,” Bibiana Mancero said.

“I feel important today. I feel very important that I voted, because I know my vote counts,” said Angel Robles.

Suzanne Offerman said it’s been the talk of her household.

“My husband and I have been talking about the election more I think than we ever have before,” she told Dias.

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These particular New Yorkers are not only voting for the next president of the United States, but also the representative of the 11th Congressional District — the city’s only swing district, which covers Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn.

Incumbent Democrat and Army veteran Rose is going up against Republican Assembly member Malliotakis. Both have been airing a tremendous number of negative ads for weeks.

Taking those blows to the streets Tuesday, Rose greeted voters in Bay Ridge.

“Nicole has nothing to run on besides her woeful record of addressing any problem whatsoever and getting right in line with the Republican party when they raised our property taxes and when they stand in the way of state and local aid. So her campaign’s been a joke and we’re gonna beat her today,” he said. 

Election 2020: Tri-State Area Voter Guide For Nov. 3 General Election

A few hours later and less than a mile away, Malliotakis threw attacks, as well.

“People are rightfully upset with what’s happening in our city under one-party Democratic rule. They have seen crime increase, they feel less safe, they see the quality of life deteriorating,” she said. “They have seen how far Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Max Rose and Bill de Blasio have taken our city.”

Malliotakis went on to say, “A vote for me is a vote to bring safety back to the streets of the city, to restore law and order, to make sure we reopen the economy, we bring back American jobs lost here in New York and across the country, and to preserve the American dream.”

Businesses along Victory Boulevard are hoping whoever achieves victory in this very close race can help them recoup some of the financial losses they’ve experience since the beginning of the pandemic.

Helping struggling small businesses and getting people back to work are just two of the major issues voters are keeping in mind as they cast their ballots.

Given all the absentee ballots that will need to be counted, it could be days or weeks before a winner is declared in this race. Both candidates say they will be patient and respect the process.

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