Republicans anticipated a red wave to take over Congress in Tuesday’s 2022 midterm elections, but Democrats are holding on stronger than expected as votes continue to be counted. Results are still being counted in uncalled races, with Republicans having a slight edge in the Senate at 49 seats versus Democrat’s 48. The House of Representatives is leaning Republican, with Republicans nearly at the 218 seats needed for party control at 207 seats versus Democrat’s 189 at the time of this article. Americans are in for a long wait to see who will control Congress as key races in Georgia, Arizona and Nevada remain uncalled. Republicans must win at least one more seat to take control of the Senate.
First, Democrats proved resilient in New York’s midterm election. Gov. Kathy Hochul secured a key win against her Republican opponent, Representative Lee Zeldin in the race for governor.
The governor’s race divided New Yorkers as the campaign led to the possibility that New York may elect a Republican governor for the first time in 20 years. Progressive constituents worried over Zeldin’s conservative stances to limit abortion rights, reverse the state’s criminal justice reforms and increase the expansion of climate-warming gas — all of which Hochul opposed. After raising a flush $34 million for her campaign, Hochul will now lead her first full term as the state’s first elected female governor following her succession of Andrew M. Cuomo.
“This race was a once-in-a-generation campaign with a very close margin in the bluest of blue states,” said Zeldin, who conceded.
Republicans were also hopeful Republican Joseph Pinion, a television commentator, would beat Senator Chuck Schumer in New York’s Senate race. Schumer won by a large margin of 68.3% against Pinion’s 31.3%. In the race for Attorney General, Democratic incumbent Letitia James also swept Republican nominee Michael Henry, winning 54% of the vote versus Henry’s 45.9%.
Following a Wednesday morning concession of his Republican opponent, Colin Schmitt, Democrat Pat Ryan has won as Representative for New York’s 18th District. The race was close, with Ryan currently holding a less than one point lead at 50.42% versus Schmitt’s 49.58%. Ryan’s win comes a few months after he won a special election for Representative in the 19th District, after Antonio Delgado became Lieutenant Governor beside Hochul.
In Ulster County, Democrat Jen Metzger was elected to the Office of Ulster Country Executive, defeating her Republican opponent, Jim Quigley. She is the first woman elected to the position and won with a nearly 9,000 vote lead.
Sarahana Shrestha, a Democratic socialist, pulled off a sweeping win against Republican Patrick Sheehan for State Assembly in District 103. Shrestha earned 58.7% of the vote against Sheenan’s 38.21% following a grassroots campaign built on climate activism and labor rights.
“This win belongs equally, if not more, to our volunteer team members who showed up after the primary to continue building our movement through the general election, who did not at all slow down for the final stretch, and the thousands of District 103 who spoke to us in earnest and cheered us on,” Shrestha wrote on Instagram. “The future must be beautiful, and I am so honored to have the opportunity to build it with you.”
Republicans now hold eight seats in New York after making significant gains and picking up four seats in the suburbs of Long Island and two in the Hudson Valley. Stories of crime and chaos have flooded television screens in the homes of voters in these constituencies, with Republican candidates amplifying tough on crime stances that proved successful in winning the ballot.
New York voters also approved the largest environmental bond issue in New York’s history by an overwhelming margin. The “Clean Water, Clean Air, Green Jobs Act” will give the state $4.2 billion to provide infrastructure to fight climate change. Environmental groups called it a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the Act aims to stop making current pollution problems worse while protecting against climate change.
Results for the Senate hinge on the Georgia election, which will remain unclear for over a month until a runoff election between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker on Dec. 6. Both candidates currently have less than 50% votes each. Until then, the Senate outcome will continue to hang in the balance.
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