Credit: Bill Moore

This past Tuesday’s primaries brought out some surprises, but things went as expected. That is, as expected as New York politics could be.

Sitting Gov. Andrew Cuomo took 62 percent of the vote, beating his opponent, underdog Zephyr Teachout, who walked away with 34 percent.

Cuomo did little campaigning for the primary. He did not even hold an Election Night event on the night he won.

“We want to build on the success of the last four years; they want to tear New York down and bring back the hyper-partisan gridlock that has ground Washington to a halt,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We can and we will continue to create jobs, reduce taxes, invest in education and make New York a center for opportunity, innovation and equality for all.”

Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino ran unopposed in the primaries and faces Cuomo as the Republican gubernatorial candidate in the general election in November.

In a lopsided Democratic primary, former New York City Council Member Leroy Comrie defeated embattled state Sen. Malcolm Smith 69.4 percent to 18.9 percent. Smith, who’s battling bribery charges, has held the seat since 2000.

On his Facebook page, Comrie wrote a statement expressing joy over his recent triumph.

“This win is a huge triumph,” said Comrie. “Now I am looking forward to bringing everyone together so that we can continue to work for the betterment of our community.”

In the state Senate’s 34th District, Jeff Klein defeated G. Oliver Koppell with 66.8 percent of the vote to 33.2 percent. Klein managed to fend off Koppell and continued with his re-election bid despite the criticism his Independent Democratic Conference has received for some of the work it’s done with state Senate Republicans in Albany.

“What we did was take a step back and say that we can do better,” said Klein during a speech at Maestro’s, a banquet hall in Bronxdale. “That the way government was working in Albany was not what we bargained for. We didn’t bargain for corruption. We didn’t bargain for dysfunction.” However, some of that work with Republicans has been labeled as the reason why many liberal reforms haven’t made their way through Albany.

Former City Council Member and Manhattan Borough presidential candidate Robert Jackson lost his bid to be in the state Senate. His opponent, incumbent Adriano Espailliat, took 50 percent of the vote. Espailliat’s win comes on the heels of his failed congressional campaign in which he tried to unseat Charlie Rangel.

In other state Senate races, James Saunders retained his seat representing the 10th District, taking 74 percent of the vote. Jesse Hamilton was elected to represent the 20th District, beating out two other candidates, taking nearly 65 percent of the vote. Incumbent Ruth Hassell-Thompson will remain in her spot, taking 84 percent of the vote in the District 36 race.

But there will possibly be some new blood in the New York Assembly at least. In the Assembly’s 79th District, Michael Blake emerged victorious in a candidate pool of six with 37.4 percent of the vote. Blake used his past as a former Barack Obama campaign aide and his story as a Bronx native made good to ride the tide to the top.

Former City Council Member Charles Barron became one step closer to taking over the 60th District Assembly seat vacated by his wife, Inez Barron, who was elected to his City Council seat. Charles won 63 percent of the vote against his opponent.

Other winners in Assembly races included Rodneyse Bichotte, who took almost 50 percent of the vote in the District 42 race. Latrice Walker beat out six candidates in the District 55 Assembly race, taking nearly 40 percent of the vote. In Harlem’s 71st District, Herman Farrell hung on to his Assembly seat, taking 71 percent of the vote.

Olanike Alabi was elected by the 57th Assembly District to serve as the state committeewoman/district leader.

And yet, if you’re New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, you’re not exactly celebrating some of these Democratic victories. Dell Smitherman, a candidate the mayor endorsed, was trounced in the primary for the state Senate’s 19th District by John Sampson. The twice-indicted incumbent easily staved off his competitor by collecting 54.2 percent of the vote while Smitherman, a former 1199 SEIU operative, managed to win only 29.9 percent of the vote. Sean Henry and Elias Weir won 12.5 percent and 3.4 percent of the vote, respectively.

Sampson remained defiant in his victory speech at the Thomas Jefferson Political Club in Canarsie. “We had the governor, the mayor and some of my colleagues in the Assembly who didn’t want to see this happen,” he said. “Prosperity breeds friends, adversity proves it. It is going to be a different John Sampson.”

At press time, with omore than 95 percent of precincts reporting, Tony Avella emerged victorious over John Liu in the Democratic primary for the state Senate’s 11th District seat, 52.2 percent to 47.8 percent. But Liu isn’t going without a fight. Despite being behind, Liu hasn’t officially conceded and wants every vote counted before he makes a decision.

“Every vote counts, so every vote must be counted,” said Liu in a statement. “The voters of our district deserve a full, fair and honest counting of every vote cast to ensure their voices are heard. We are optimistic that once all votes have been counted, we will be victorious.”

Unions have touted their role in Tuesday night’s festivities as well. According to 1199 SEIU officials, 275,000 of its state members voted in the primary and “proved their strength in the electoral arena once again through a strategic and statewide effort.”

The union touted not only their success in picking Cuomo and lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Kathy Hochul to win, but also their role in several other closely-contested races as well. Officials from 1199 pointed to their role in helping Comrie beat Smith in the state Senate primary and their support for Espaillat, Gustavo Rivera, Jeff Klein and others.

“We endorsed candidates who share our core values of quality health care, good jobs and equal opportunity for all,” said 1199 political director Kevin Finnegan in a statement. “Moving toward the general election, we will continue to put the full force of our union into ensuring a strong Democratic majority in the Legislature. We want to make sure that they pass a full set of progressive legislation, including local living wage laws, the Dream Act, campaign finance reform and women’s rights.”