Rep. Lee Zeldin at the Republican watch party in Manhattan on Election Night.

Rep. Lee Zeldin this afternoon conceded the race for New York governor to Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“I would like to congratulate New York Governor Kathy Hochul on her election to a full four-year term,” Zeldin said in a statement issued by his campaign.

“This race was a once in a generation campaign, with a very close margin in the bluest of blue states. The unrelenting passion and hard work of our grassroots volunteers and supporters made this incredibly close race possible and helped us win at least 49 of New York’s 62 counties,” he said in the statement. “Republicans, Democrats and Independents united as New Yorkers, pouring their heart and soul into this campaign.”

Hochul leads Zeldin 52.16% to 47.02%, with a margin of 291,537 votes with over 93% of the votes in, according to unofficial results reported by the New York State Board of Elections. The concession came as Hochul’s lead increased slightly today. When the congressman spoke to supporters at an Election Night watch party in Manhattan last night, he declined to concede; Hochul had already declared victory.

“Those controlling Albany should take note,” Zeldin’s statement continued.

“New Yorkers of all walks of life are sick of the attacks on their wallets, their safety, their freedoms and the quality of their kids’ education and are hitting their breaking point, as proven by these results,” Zeldin said.

The congressman made crime and freedom from pandemic mandates touchstones of his campaign to “Save Our State” — a phrase he adopted as his campaign slogan.

“While this campaign has come to a close, the rescue mission to Save Our State continues,” Zeldin said.

A Republican coming within 5 points of a Democratic incumbent in New York has not happened since former Gov. George Pataki upset Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1994.

NY-01, a district that has flipped back and forth between the Republican and Democratic parties for 60 years, remains in the Republican column. NY-01 voters elected Nick LaLota (R-Amityville) to succeed Zeldin in Washington.

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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.