By Michael Gareth Johnson
Democrats enjoyed a remarkable night across the country, scoring big wins in House races and gaining back several governorships in all corners of the continental United States. The blue momentum hit New York particularly hard, giving Democrats huge wins in all statewide races, flipping control of the state Senate, and scoring several pickups in House races in the state. Here’s a recap of the results and the winners throughout Queens.
The New York State Senate will be controlled by Democrats starting in 2019, opening up the path for hosts of progressive legislation that has been blocked for decades by the Republican majority that controlled the chamber. Among the policies that are now possibilities include voting reform, increased education funding, an expansion of healthcare, and even difficult topics like reforms of rent regulations and property taxes.
As of midnight, Democrats had declared victory and said they were certain they had won at least 32 seats to hold the majority — with the final total at the end of the night likely to grow as high as 39 seats. State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) is now poised to become the Senate Majority Leader. In a statement, she said:
“The voters of New York State have spoken and they have elected a clear Democratic majority to the State Senate.” Adding, “I am confident our majority will grow even larger after all results are counted, and we will finally give New Yorkers the progressive leadership they have been demanding.
Republican leaders conceded that they had lost the chamber and pledged to continue to fight for conservative values including lower taxes.
In Queens, voters elected all Democrats to office, backing James Sanders, Jr., John Liu, Jessica Ramos, Leroy Comrie, Michael Gianaris, Toby Ann Stavisky, Joseph Addabbo,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
It was widely expected that Democrats would regain control of the House of Representatives, and as election night unfolded it became clear that this was the case. The flip of control means members of the Queens delegation will immediately step into positions of power, allowing them to be a check on the Trump administration. Among the Queens’ representatives likely to see a higher profile on Capitol Hill.
Voters reelected Grace Meng, Gregory Meeks, Carolyn Maloney, Tom Suozzi, and Hakeem Jeffries on Tuesday.
Queens voters also elected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who will replace Rep. Joe Crowley in the House. Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at the age of 29.
BALLOT INITIATIVES PASS
New York City put forth a large push to get voters to flip their ballots on Tuesday, and vote on three proposals on the back of the ballot. The push worked, with voters backing all three initiatives. The first question called for an expansion of the public financing system for candidates in the city, lowering the donation limits and increasing the funding match for small dollar donations. The second question called for the creation of Civic Engagement Commissions to advise communities on issues and provide a better gateway into government for residents. The final question called for the reform of community boards with a goal of making them more diverse, while also implementing term limits on board members.
Voters overwhelmingly voted to send Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli back to Albany for four more years. Also elected was Letitia “Tish” James, who will be the next Attorney General of New York. She is the first woman of color to be elected statewide in New York’s history. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was also re-elected to another six-year term.
There were no surprises in the Assembly races around the borough. Democratic candidates were all winners. Heading back to Albany is: Stacey Pheffer Amato, David Weprin, Nily Rozic, Ed Braunstein, Daniel Rosenthal, Andrew Hevesi, Alicia Hyndman, Brian Barnwell, Michele Titus, Vivian Cook, Clyde Vanel, Michael DenDekker, Jeffrion Aubry, Aravella Simotas, Cathy Nolan, Michael Miller, Catalina Cruz, and Ron Kim.