Nov. 8, 2022 Governor




































+Kathy Hochul/Antonio Delgado (D/WFP)
Lee Zeldin/Alison Esposito (R/CON)


Total votes: 5,962,278 includes 41,829 blank and 8,163 void.
Plurality: 377,834 votes (6.39 percentage points).
New York State Board of Elections

Notes:  On Aug. 10, 2021, amid a flurry of sexual harassment allegations, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced he would resign in two weeks.  Then-Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) was sworn in on Aug. 24, taking the reins after months of tumult.  From the outset in August, Hochul made it clear she would seek a full term in 2022.  She defeated several challengers in the June 28 Democratic primary.  U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R), emerged from a competitive GOP primary and, despite New York being a solidly Democratic state, made a race of it in the general election.  Zeldin hoped to reclaim the office for Republicans for the first time since Gov. George Pataki finished his term in Dec. 2006, but Hochul ultimately prevailed. 

New Yorkers had only the two choices on the November ballot —Hochul and Zeldin— as a result of Democratic legislation which raised the bar for third party candidates to qualify.

In July, the Zeldin campaign ran into trouble when the New York State Board of Elections determined that one-quarter of the signatures it submitted in an attempt to qualify for the Independence Party of New York ballot line were invalid. 
The Libertarian Party of New York reported that "a challenge mounted by a team of Libertarian Party officials and volunteers associated with the Diane Sare for Senate campaign discovered that over 900 sheets, containing over 11,000 signatures were merely photocopies of original sheets (+)." 

Focusing on crime, Zeldin was able to tighten the race from September on.  Hochul and Zeldin held one debate at Pace University on Oct. 25, hosted by Spectrum News NY1 (>).

This was about the time the race appeared closest, and there was  considerable worry among Democrats in the closing weeks.
  National political figures sought to help out.  Former President Donald Trump, who had remained neutral in the primary, endorsed Zeldin in an Oct. 16 statement.  Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
rallied with Zeldin on Long Island on Oct. 29 (>) and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin rallied with him in Westchester on Oct. 31 (>).  Vice President Kamala Harris and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton campaigned with Hochul at Barnard College on Nov. 3 (>) and President Joe Biden himself campaigned with Hochul at Sarah Lawrence College on Nov. 6 (>).

The Hochul campaign had a huge fundraising advantage over the Zeldin campaign.  Excellent reporting by the Times-Union showed that through Oct. 31 the Hochul campaign raised $49.8 million compared to $22.0 million for the Zeldin campaign.  Zeldin did benefit from significant independent expenditure spending, notably by two PACs, Safe Together New York and Save Our State NY.

Although Zeldin didn't win, his strong showing likely helped Republicans win several U.S. House seats in New York and drew plaudits from national conservatives.

June 28 Democratic Primary
A competitive primary seemed likely as several prominent Democrats announced bids, but incumbent advantage proved decisive. 

Attorney General Letitia ("Tish") James entered the race on Oct. 29, 2021.  James' office had led the investigation into Cuomo and, as she stated in her announcement video, "I've sued the Trump administration 76 times, but who's counting? (>)." However less than two months later, on Dec. 9, James announced she would instead run for re-relection as Attorney General so she could "finish the job." 

NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams announced his candidacy on Nov. 16 advocating "courageous progressive leadership (>)."  Before his election as Public Advocate in 2018, Williams served ten years on the New York City Council.  He received the endorsement of the Working Families Party on on Feb. 8, and announced activist Ana Maria Archia as his running mate on Feb. 28.

On Nov. 29, U.S. Rep  Tom Suozzi (Long Island) entered the race (>).  He is a former Nassau County Executive and former Mayor of Glen Cove, and had also run for governor against Eliot Spitzer in 2006.  Suozzi announced former Brooklyn City Councilwoman Diana Reyna as his running mate on Feb. 16.

A couple of other names surfaced.  In Nov. 2021 then-Mayor Bill de Blasio formed a committee "New Yorkers for a Fair Future," but on Jan. 18, he announced he would not run for governor.  In Mar. 2022, unbelievably, Cuomo hinted at a possible comeback.

Meanwhile, one of Hochul's early decisions, her selection of state Sen. Brian Benjamin as lieutenant governor, announced  on Aug. 26 (>), did not turn out well.  Benjamin was arrested on federal corruption charges and resigned on Apr. 12, 2022.  After passage of a bill that allowed candidates to opt not to appear on the ballot under special circumstances, Hochul announced state Rep. Antonio Delgado as her lieutenant governor and her running mate on May 3.

As incumbent governor, Hochul proved to have a significant advantage.  On Feb. 17 at the New York State Democratic Convention delegates voted overwhelmingly to nominate Hochul, thereby requiring Williams and Suozzi to petition to get on the ballot.  Hochul's fundraising numbers were far ahead of her Democratic challengers, and the competitive primary did not seem to develop.   [Compare with Rhode Island where Lt. Gov. Daniel McKee ascended to the Governor's office in Mar. 2021 and also faced several challengers].  Suozzi and Wiliams debated on Spectrum News NY1 on June 2 (>); Hochul, Suozzi and Williams debated on CBS2 on June 7 (>) and on NBC4 on June 16 (>). 

Hochul tallied 66.5% of the vote to 19.0% for Williams and 12.8% for Suozzi.

June 28 Republican Primary
On the Republican side,
the leading candidates are former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Andrew Giuliani, Harry Wilson and U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (Long Island).  A big question in the primary race was whether former President Trump would make an endorsement.

Zeldin was elected to Congress in 2014 representing NY-1 (eastern Long Island) after serving one term in the state Senate.  He worked as an attorney and served in the U.S. Army, including in Iraq.  Zeldin announced his candidacy on Apr. 8, 2021 (>).  He announced Alison Esposito, a NYPD inspector, as his running mate on Feb. 23, 2022, Zeldin won the backing of the New York State Conservative Party at their convention on Feb. 26 and the endorsement of the New York Republican Party at their convention on Mar. 1. 

Astorino formally launched his campaign in May 2021.  He was the Republican nominee for governor in 2014, and served two terms as Westchester County Executive before losing in 2017 and losing a 2020 bid for state Senate.  Astorino has a background in radio and TV.  He started his political career on the Mount Pleasant board of education then served on the city council and as a county legislator.

Andrew Giuliani, son of former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, served as a Special Assistant to the President and Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison during the Trump Administration,  He launched his campaign on May 18 (>).

Businessman Harry Wilson entered the race late, on Feb. 22, 2022 (>), but with a big splash, as he was reported ready to spend $12 million on advertising.  Wilson was most recently chairman, CEO and founder of MAEVA Group, LLC, where he developed a turnaround plan for Genesis HealthCare.  Wilson has run for office once before; in 2010 he was the Republican nominee for Comptroller.

Astorino, Wilson, Zeldin
and Giuliani debated on CBS2 on June 13 (>) and on Spectrum News NY1 on June 20 (>): Giuliani participated remotely in both debates as he was not vaccinated.  Former Vice President Pence endorsed Zeldin days before the primary, but Trump remained neutral.

Zeldin tallied 43.5% of the vote followed by Giuliani (22.6%), Astorino (18.1%) and Wilson (14.5%).

High Bar Keeps Third Party Candidates Off the Ballot

A Green Party of New York press release states, "Access to the ballot in New York is now the most difficult in the nation — and, in fact, the world for independent candidates."  As a result of the 2020 measure advanced by Democrats, the petition requirement for third party candidates was set at 45,000 signatures.  The campaigns had 42 days to gather the signatures, which were to be submitted by May 31.  Greens nominated Howie Hawkins and Gloria Mattera; Hawkins was the Green Party nominee for governor in 2014 and 2018 and nominee for president in 2020.  Libertarians nominated Larry Sharpe and Andrew Hollister; Sharpe was making a second run for governor in coalition with the Forward Party and Unite NY.  Neither ticket met the 45,000 signature requirement, although the two parties pursued litigation, that proved unsuccessful (+)

Campaign Managers:
Kathy Hochul: 
Brian Lenzmeier
Experience includes manager on Missoula businesswoman Whitney Williams' campaign for the 2020 Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Montana, senior advisor on Rebecca Holcombe's campaign for the 2020 Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Vermont.  Campaign manager on Suzanna Shkreli's campaign for Congress in MI-8, 2016.  Research director on Hochul's 2011 congressional campaign.
Lee Zeldin:  Eric Amidon
(2022)  Senior advisor
(May 2021-Jan. 2022) and chief of staff (Jan. 2015-Apr. 2021) to Rep. Zeldin; campaign manager on Zeldin's 2014 congressional campaign.  Political director on Treadwell for Congress (NY), 2008.  Attorney at Zaklukiewicz, Puzo and Morrissey LLP.  J.D. from Tuoro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center; M.P.A. from Marist College; bachelor's degree in political science from SUNY at Albany.

See also: 

Carl Campanile.  "Hochul raised record-breaking $60M to win term as governor – spending roughly $20 per vote."  New York Post, Nov. 21, 2022.

Bernadette Hogan, Nolan Hicks and Emily Crane.  "Lee Zeldin on why he has 'zero regret' after losing to Gov. Kathy Hochul."  New York Post, Nov. 9, 2022

Guy Benson.  "National Republicans Should Be Thanking Lee Zeldin."  Townhall, Nov. 9, 2022.

Ruby Cramer.  "Kathy Hochul's campaign to prove her place in New York."  The Washington Post, Nov. 6, 2022.

Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Nicholas Fandos.  "As Governor's Race Tightens, a Frantic Call to Action Among Democrats."  The New York Times, Oct. 27, 2022.

Rebekah F. Ward and Christian Leonard.  "See who's donating in New York's record breaking race for governor."  Times-Union, Oct. 21, 2022, updated Oct. 23, 2022.

Jay Root.  "For First Time Since 1946, New Yorkers Have Just 2 Choices for Governor."  The New York Times, July 28, 2022.

Rebecca C. Lewis.  "Allegedly fradulent petitions cost Lee Zeldin a third ballot line in November."  City & State New York, July 14, 2022.

Joseph Spector.  "Trump's endorsement stumper: Family friends or fierce ally."  Politico, June 5, 2022.

John Besche.  "The Question Hanging Over the New York GOP Convention: Who Can Win in November?"  Gotham Gazette, Mar. 7, 2022.

Paul Steinhauser.  "Republican Harry Wilson launches bid for NY governor backed b y $12M of his own money."  FOX News, Feb. 22, 2022.


Joshua Solomon.  "Hochul's fundraising and spending outstrips the field so far in 2022."  Times-Union, May 31, 2022.

"Hochul signs bill removing embattled former running mate from ballot."  Washington Examiner, May 2, 2022.

Nicholas Fandos.  "How Kathy Hochul Went From Unexpected Gov ernor to Clear Front-Runner."  New York Times, Feb. 16, 2022.

--.  "TIMELINE: New York Gov Andrew Cuomo resigns in wake of sexual harassment, nursing home scandals."  CBS New York, updated Jan. 7, 2022.

Annika Kim Constantino.  "Kathy Hochul says she'll run for New York governor next year after finishing Cuomo's term."  CNBC, Aug. 12, 2022.

Rachel Bucchino.  "Could Andrew Cuomo Actually Get Re-elected?"  National Interest, Feb. 20, 2021.