Tuesday was Election Day for local and municipal offices across New York State. Voters decided major mayoral contests in New York City and Buffalo, and County Executive races in Nassau and Westchester. Several ballot proposals intended to reform the electoral process appear to have been defeated.
New Jersey and Virginia held statewide elections. Outcomes from these two states are often viewed as bellwether indicators by political pundits and prognosticators.
All results are unofficial. Up-to-date vote counts can be found at the NYS Board of Elections website.
NYC: Eric Adams (D) easily defeated Curtis Sliwa (R) to succeed Bill de Blasio as mayor of New York City. Adams, the current Brooklyn Borough President and former state senator, emerged from the Democratic primary field in June with a more centrist platform on economic and public safety issues. Republicans are expected to win some surprise seats on the New York City Council.
Buffalo: Longtime incumbent Byron Brown declared victory on election night as a write-in candidate against India Walton, the Democratic party nominee and self-identified Democratic Socialist. Brown, a former chair of the State Democratic Party under Governor Andrew Cuomo, was forced to run an unconventional campaign after a shocking loss to the progressive challenger in June’s Democratic primary election. While official results are not expected for weeks, Walton received only 41% of the vote while nearly 60% of voters chose to “write-in” a preferred candidate’s name, presumably Brown’s.
Long Island: Republicans swept all major countywide offices in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, including Nassau County Executive; Bruce Blakeman (R) leads incumbent Laura Curran (D) 52%-48%. Curran has not conceded.
Westchester: Incumbent Democrat George Latimer was reelected as Westchester County Executive.
Upstate Cities: Incumbent mayors Ben Walsh (independent) and Kathy Sheehan (D) won reelection in Syracuse and Albany respectively. Malik Evans (D) will be Rochester’s next mayor.
Statewide Ballot Proposals: A series of ballot proposals (props. 1, 3, 4) seeking reforms to the state’s electoral system were all defeated. The proposals attempted to change the state’s decennial legislative district reapportionment process, permit same-day voter registration, and allow for anyone to vote via absentee ballot.
Ballot Proposal 2, which creates a constitutional right to clean water, clean air, and a healthful environment, was overwhelmingly approved by voters.
New Jersey and Virginia: Republicans performed well in other closely watched contests. Political newcomer Glenn Youngkin defeated Terry McAuliffe by a close margin to become Virginia’s first Republican governor in over a decade.
The race for New Jersey governor between incumbent Phil Murphy (D) and Jack Ciattarelli (R) remained undecided well into Wednesday evening. Murphy holds a roughly 25,000 vote lead and has been declared the winner.
NFIB’s political action committees in VA and NJ endorsed Youngkin and Ciattarelli in their respective races.