By Eric Yun
The national Republican Party had a great day Tuesday, as they are projected to gain more than 60 seats in the House of Representatives, but Democrats did most of the celebrating in New York State, where the anti-incumbency fervor didn’t seem to have a large impact.
Democratic Attorney General Andrew Cuomo received 62 percent of the vote easily defeating Republican challenger Carl Paladino in the race for governor. State Senator Eric Schneiderman (D- Manhattan) defeated Republican Dan Donovan, Staten Island’s District Attorney, for Cuomo’s vacated Attorney General position, by a margin of 55 to 44 percent. In the closest of the statewide races, Democrat Thomas DiNapoli held on to his Comptroller seat defeating Harry Wilson 50 to 47 percent. DiNapoli had been appointed to that position when former Comptroller Alan Hevesi resigned in scandal.
Nationally, Democratic Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand cruised to expected victories. Schumer defeated Jay Townsend by a 66 to 33 percent margin, and Gillibrand defeated Joseph DioGuardi 61 to 36 percent.
Republicans did pick up several seats in the House. Michael Grimm defeated Michael McMahon 51 to 48 percent in Congressional District 13, which covers Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn. Other Democratic incumbents that fell were Rep. John Hall who was defeated by Nan Hayworth, Rep. Scott Murphy who was defeated by Christopher Gibson and Rep. Michael Arcuri, who was defeated by Richard Hanna.
Republicans still have an outside shot to take over the State Senate. Control of the Senate will be crucial as the legislature redistricts the state for Congressional and state legislative seats. Two freshman Democratic Senators were defeated in Suffolk County and upstate New York, but longtime Senator Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) was upset by former City Councilman Tony Avella. There are still three upstate races that remain too close to call, but it appears the Senate could be split 31-31.