Celebration and jubilation filled the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Midtown Manhattan as the Democratic Party managed to win several key races on Tuesday night. Supporters and power players filled the ballroom, hobnobbing while preparing for the next four years of strategy to get New York State in order.
Shortly after polls closed, Andrew Cuomo was named the projected winner of the governor’s race. Cuomo pounced his GOP and Tea Party darling opponent Carl Paladino, who set up shop with his own election night party across the street at the Hilton. In the end, Cuomo took 60 percent of the votes.
Tuesday night’s victory party also brought out several winners from the Democratic Party, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, who retained their seats, while Eric Schneiderman was elected state attorney general.
Joined by his family, including his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, and several of his campaign workers and supporters, Cuomo pledged to his new constituents that he would work hard to put faith back in state government.
“The people have spoken tonight and they have been loud and clear,” he said. “The mandate tonight is to clean up Albany. They want reform and they want government in Albany changed. And that’s what they’re going to get.”
Cuomo also pointed out that the tactics by the Republican and Tea Parties to try and divide the state during the campaign failed, and regardless of anyone’s position or location, the state now has to come together.
He said, “Yes, we are upstate and we are downstate…Yes, we are Black and we are white; yes, we are gay and we are straight, but we are one state because we are New York. Yes, you can try to divide us, but we are one. And we aren’t going let you separate us.”
Several Black politicians came out to the Sheraton Tuesday night showing their support for the governor-elect. Former City Comptroller and New York City mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, who served as co-chair of Cuomo’s campaign, said Cuomo’s win is a positive step for the state and he’s confident Cuomo will help all New Yorkers.
“Andrew has put forth a vision for what New York State should be,” Thompson said. “He’s talked about working together. Andrew’s talked about making sure that this is a very diverse administration, the most diverse administration this state has ever had. He’s also putting fourth proposals for housing and employment–that’s why it’s good for the African-American community.”
Fresh from his own win for another term in the State Senate, State Sen. Kevin Parker said that Cuomo’s win signifies a changing of the guard and also said it was important that Democrats return to office across the state.
He said, “Having Democrats in charge of both the Assembly and the Senate is critical for making sure that we are drawing lines properly and giving President Obama the kind of support he needs. I am optimistic, but I’m not going to rush into judgment. I’m pledging myself to work alongside Governor Cuomo, making sure the state is opportunistic for everyone who lives here, including people in the Black and Latino communities.”
Assemblyman Keith Wright also saw Cuomo’s win as good for New York State and says Black politicians in office will monitor Cuomo’s fairness with Black and Latino communities.
“With people who [Cuomo] has had 20-year relationships with, I think it will ensure that all New Yorkers are being heard from and ready to take the state into some positive movement,” Wright said. “He’ll have a very diverse cabinet and administration. The bottom line is that people like me will have to deliver for our constituents. We did escape Paladino and we have to make sure it’s a victory for the Black community.”