President-Elect Joe Biden unsurprisingly won in New York, a historically blue state, in the 2020 presidential election. But some of the key congressional races for Democrats went red. Other congressional races made history for the youngest elected state official and the first two openly-gay Black officials to be elected to Congress.
Updated Nov. 8, 8:30 a.m.
100% uncalled for
While each district is at 100% reporting, the AP has not officially declared the following New York Congressional Races. Here’s what the AP currently reports:
Garbino (R) leads against Gordon (D) by 17 points in New York’s 2nd Congressional District.
Maliotakis (R) leads against incumbent Rose (D) by about 16 points in New York’s 11th Congressional District.
Tenney (R) leads against incumbent Brindisi (D) by 12 points in New York’s 22nd Congressional District.
Incumbent Katko (R) leads against Balter (D) by about 21 points in New York’s 24th Congressional District.
Updated Nov. 7, 8:30 a.m.
Biden becomes the president-elect
The AP projects that former Vice President Joe Biden will win in his home state of Pennsylvania. This win gives Biden enough electoral votes to be declared the president-elect.
Updated Nov. 4, 7:00 p.m. (and Nov. 8, 8:30 a.m.)
The Party’s not over yet
Both the Working Families Party and the Conservative Party received enough votes to maintain their current ballot status. In 2019, Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised the percentage of votes third parties would need to receive in order to remain on the ballot in New York State to 2%. More on these changes can be found here.
Updated Nov. 4, 4:24 p.m.
Three historic wins
New York is set to send the first two openly gay, Black elected officials to Congress — Ritchie Torres (D) and Mondaire Jones (D). The state also elected Khaleel M. Anderson (D/Working Families), the youngest Black elected state official in New York history.
With 88% of New York’s 15th Congressional District reporting, Torres received 88.2% of votes against Patrick Delices (R). Torres represents the Bronx and is a lawyer. He is also the first openly-gay elected official in the Bronx.
With 100% of New York’s 17th Congressional District reporting, Jones (D) received 54.3% of votes against Maureen McArdle Schulman (R), Yehudis Gottesfeld (Conservative), Joshua Eisen and Michael Parietti (Save America Movement). Jones worked in the Obama administration in the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice.
Anderson is 24-years-old. With 100% of the 31st State Assembly District reporting, Anderson received 88.7% of the votes against Joseph Cullina (R). He recently graduated from Queens College in 2019.
Updated Nov. 4, 9:35 a.m.
Where the races current stand (still)
Despite a large percentage of districts reporting, the races for New York’s 2nd, 11th, 22nd and 24th Congressional Districts have yet to be called by the AP. Here are the numbers so far:
With 97% of New York’s 2nd Congressional District reporting, Andrew Garbarino (R) leads against Jackie Gordon (D) 58.1%-41%. Harry Burger (G) received just under 1% of the vote.
With 95% of New York’s 11th Congressional District reporting, Nicole Malliotakis (R) leads against Max Rose (D) 57.9%-41.1%.
With 94% of New York’s 22nd Congressional District reporting, Claudia Tenney (R) leads against Anthony Brindisi (D) 54.4%-43.5%. Keith Price (L) received 2.1% of the vote.
With 100% of New York’s 24th Congressional District reporting, John Katko (R) leads against Dana Balter (D) 58.5%-37.8%. Steve Williams (Working Families) received 3.7% of the vote.
Updated Nov. 3, 9:50 p.m.
John Katko (R) has declared victory in New York’s 24th Congressional District election. The AP has reported that 100% of the district has reported, however, there are still nearly 70,000 absentee ballots that have yet to be accounted for.
At the time of this update, Katko received 58.5% of votes and Dana Balter (D) received 37.5% of votes.
Updated Nov. 3, 8:30 p.m.
A new “King of Queens”
Donovan Richards (D) won the election for Queens borough president. NY1 reports that 100% of the county has voted and that Richards won with 67.3% of votes.
This also means there will now be a special election to fill Richards' vacancy on the city council for the rest of his term.
Updated Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Malliotakis announces victory — before the AP
Nicole Malliotakis (R) delivered a victory speech in New Dorp, Staten Island. The AP has not announced a winner in New York’s 11th Congressional District election.
Updated Nov. 3, 7:12 p.m.
Polls close, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stays in the spotlight
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) is reelected in New York’s 14th Congressional District, the AP projects. With 71% of the district reporting, Ocasio-Cortez has received 61.9% of the votes. John Cummings (R) received 30.3% and Michelle Caruso-Cabrera received under 1%.
As polls closed on Nov. 3 in the state of New York, the AP projected that Biden had defeated Trump with 0% of the state reporting. While the state of New York is often blue, there are multiple swing races on the ballot in different districts.
In addition to the presidential race, New York voters this election day are voting for 27 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, 63 seats in the state senate and 150 seats in the state assembly. Here are some of the races to watch out for.
New York’s 2nd Congressional District
Incumbent Rep. Peter King (R) of New York’s 2nd Congressional District has not run for reelection. It is the first time in 29 years King’s position is up for election without him on the ballot.
This year’s election is between Jackie Gordon (D), Andrew Garbarino (R) and Harry Burger (G). The 2nd Congressional District represents parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Suffolk is considered a Pivot County, which voted for Barack Obama (D) in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections but for Donald Trump (R) in 2016.
Jackie Gordon (D) was endorsed by the Democratic, Working Families and Independence parties. She is a combat veteran and New York public school teacher. She is a former councilwoman for Babylon Town.
Andrew Garbarino (R) was endorsed by the Republican, Libertarian, Conservative and Serve America Movement parties. He has also been backed by police unions. He is an attorney and currently represents the 7th state Assembly District.
Harry Burger (G) is a mechanical design engineer running under the Green party. He prioritizes health care, social justice and environmental issues. He is also on the autistic spectrum and believes in greater neurodiversity representation in the electoral government.
Both Gordon and Garbarino advocate for better public school funding in the area and all three candidates want to protect the environment.
New York’s 11th Congressional District
New York’s 11th congressional district race is against incumbent U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D) and Nicole Malliotakis (R). The 11th congressional district represents most of Staten Island as well as parts of Southern Brooklyn.
Malliotakis was elected to the New York State Assembly in 2010 and began her fifth term in January 2020. She was also the 2017 Republican nominee for Mayor of the City of New York against incumbent Bill de Blasio. She is currently the only Hispanic Republican elected official in New York City. Local police unions and President Donald Trump have endorsed her.
Rose is a veteran who recently led the initiative on the 9-8-8 suicide hotline. He also serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security. He defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan in 2018.
A poll from the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion declared the race as a tossup in October 2020. Malliotakis held only a 2 percentage point lead against Rose, with the other 6% undecided or voting for another candidate.
The poll also found that 53% of the district of early and undecided voters were leaning towards voting for incumbent President Donald Trump.
Both Rose and Malliotakis advocate for expanded transit service and environmental protection, especially in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
They also speak out against the corruption in government — and each other. Both politicians have aired scathing advertisements against each other, frustrating and confusing their voters.
New York’s 14th Congressional District
New York’s 14th Congressional District represents parts of the Bronx and Queens. It is where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) will be running for reelection this year.
Ocasio-Cortez has become a political personality, specifically with young voters. She recently took to Twitch to encourage young people to register to vote. She volunteered for Bernie Sanders in 2016 and is a progressive voice for health care, social justice and criminal justice reform.
She will face two opponents on Nov. 3 — John Cummings (R) and Michelle Caruso-Cabrera (Serve America Movement).
Cummings is a former police officer and current teacher. His key platforms are for expanded funding for education and law enforcement.
Ocasio-Cortez and Caruso-Cabrera faced off in the Democratic Primary on June 23, 2020. Although Ocasio-Cortez won by a large margin, Caruso-Cabrera earned 18% of the vote.
Ocasio-Cortez’s pushback against the proposed 2019 plan for Amazon to build their corporate headquarters in Queens earned Caruso-Cabrera “the moderate” endorsement from the New York Post.
New York’s 22nd Congressional District
New York’s 22nd Congressional District represents the middle of New York State, including Chenango, Cortland, Madison and Oneida counties and parts of Broome, Herkimer, Tioga and Oswego counties.
The main candidate running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D) is former incumbent Claudia Tenney (R). It is one of 56 rematch elections for the U.S. House this year.
Despite being a Democratic House district, President Donald Trump received 55% of the vote in 2016.
Brindisi previously served on the Utica school board and the New York Assembly. He prioritizes health care, education and expanding opioid treatment. He was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Tenney is an attorney and businesswoman. She served as the U.S. Rep for the district from 2017 to 2019. She supports small businesses and is keen to cut taxes. She was also endorsed by President Donald Trump.
New York’s 24th Congressional District
The New York’s 24th Congressional District represents Wayne, Cayuga and Onondaga counties, which includes the city of Syracuse. This district was one of 105 congressional districts that intersected with one or more Pivot Counties in 2016.
The Republican primary for this election was canceled, so incumbent Rep. John Katko (R) faces Dana Balter (D) and Steven Williams (Working Families).
Katko is a lawyer who was first elected in 2014. Some of his key issues include agriculture, national security and education.
Balter is a teacher and director of education at a disabilities services nonprofit. Health care, disabilities and voting rights are some of her key issues.
Despite Katko’s history, a Siena College poll found Katko and Balter to be tied at 45% each. Williams was favored by 5%.
Queens Borough President Special Election
There have been many setbacks in filling the Queens Borough President position due to the pandemic that will now be resolved on Nov. 3.
Previous Queens Borough President Melinda Katz was elected Queens district attorney on Nov. 15, 2019. Since Katz’s election, acting Borough President Sharon Lee has taken her place and was supposed to be replaced after a primary election on March 24, 2020. After the COVID-19 pandemic, that primary was moved to June 23.
Lee will now serve as acting Borough President until the end of the year. But this Nov. 3 election determines who will serve as borough president until the end of Katz’s term in December 2021.
What exactly is a borough president? Some of the borough president’s duties include influencing land development projects in their borough, appointing members to community boards, creating task forces and spearhead legislation in partnership with a council member. One of the recently newsworthy land development projects in Queens was the aforementioned 2019 plan for Amazon to build their corporate headquarters in Long Island City, Queens.
If Richards Jr. wins for Queens borough president, it will trigger yet another special election to see who will finish his term until 2021.