Nick LaLota speaks to supporters at the Republican watch party in Patchogue Nov. 8. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Gov. Kathy Hochul declared victory late last night in her bid for a first full term in a very close race against Congressman Lee Zeldin. She leads Zeldin by 285,000 with about 92% of the election districts statewide reporting results.

“BREAKING: I’m deeply honored to be elected Governor of the State of New York,” Hochul said in on Twitter at 11:12 p.m.

The Associated Press declared Hochul the winner just before 1 a.m. Moments later, the governor tweeted, “Tonight, a glass ceiling was shattered in the State of New York. Thank you to everyone who made it happen — this victory is yours.”

Zeldin has not conceded defeat due to the number of outstanding votes to be counted, including 16 election districts in Suffolk County, where Zeldin pulled in 59% of the vote reported so far.

“We have been crushing the Election Day vote all across the entire state,” Zeldin said to supporters at a watch party in Manhattan last night. “We hope that as these results come in, we’ll be able to prevail.”

Rep. Lee Zeldin stopped off at the Suffolk County Republican watch party in Patchogue as polls closed on Election Night, before heading into Manhattan to await results. Screenshot from video by Ken Rothwell

Zeldin’s First Congressional District seat remains in the Republican column, as Nick LaLota of Amityville defeated Democrat Bridget Fleming of Sag Harbor 54.47 % to 43.03%, according to unofficial results reported by the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

With 562 of 566 election districts reporting, LaLota leads Fleming 173,275 to 136,899.

Fleming issued a concession statement this morning.

“I congratulate Nick on his win and wish him success in improving the lives of Long Islanders while he serves in Washington,” Fleming said in the statement from her campaign.

“The challenges facing our nation and Long Island communities are daunting. We must not back down from the fight to defend the freedoms that make our great country a rich, resilient and generous nation. And our history teaches us that when Americans work together, we can overcome anything.

The NY-01 results, like the rest of the contests in Suffolk County, came in during the overnight hours, as technical issues prevented the county board of elections from reporting voting data remotely from polling places.

The process was moving so slowly that elections officials decided to have the polling machine memory cards from each of the 1,400 polling places brought to the agency’s Yaphank headquarters for the tally, Suffolk County Republican Chairperson Jesse Garcia announced late last night at the GOP watch party in Patchogue.

Suffolk Democratic Committee chairperson Rich Schaffer made a similar statement to the party faithful gathered in Holtsville to watch the returns come in last night.

“They had me prepare a victory speech. They had me prepare a concession speech. But they didn’t have me prepare a ‘wait for the results’ speech,” joked LaLota from the stage at the Stereo Garden, where a crowd gathered at 9 p.m. and remained until well past midnight.

Assembly Member Jodi Giglio and congressional candidate Nick LaLota wait for the returns to come in Nov. 8. Photo: Denise Civiletti

LaLota said in an interview as he arrived at the watch party at he was confident of victory. “As of 6 o’clock, 25,000 more Republicans had voted than Democrats in the district,” he said. “So I’m feeling pretty good.”

Neither candidate has issued a statement about the results as of this publication.

State Senator Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) and Assembly Member Jodi Giglio (R-Baiting Hollow) coasted to victory over their Democratic opponents.

Palumbo garnered 54.83% of the vote to Democrat Skyler Johnson’s 42.30%. Giglio won election to a second term in the State Assembly with 63.67% of the vote to Wendy Hamberger’s 32.56%.

State Senator Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) won a second term in the State Senate. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Longtime Assembly Member Fred Thiele defeated political newcomer Peter Ganley 53.38% to 44.06%.

Voters in Southold, Southampton and East Hampton towns approved the Peconic Bay Region Community Housing Fund quarter-percent real property transfer tax to assist the towns with affordable housing programs. The Town of Riverhead did not approve a ballot measure for this election. Voters in the Town of Shelter Island were nearly evenly split on the ballot proposition, which fell just eight votes short of approval — out of 1,770 votes cast — according to unofficial results reported by the Suffolk Board of Elections on Wednesday.

Republican candidates won two county-wide races: Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy won re-election and Vincent Puleo was elected county clerk.

Voters in Suffolk County overwhelmingly approved the term limits ballot proposal. Voters statewide approved the Environmental Bond Act proposal on the ballot.

First Assembly District candidate Peter Ganley (R-Southold) came up short against longtime incumbent Assembly Member Fred Thiele (D-Sag Harbor). Photo: Denise Civiletti
Assembly Member Jodi Giglio (R-Baiting Hollow) won a second term of office. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Correction: This story has been amended to correct an error in its initial report on results of the Community Housing Fund ballot proposal in the Town of Shelter Island.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.