Democrats overwhelmingly capture control of state senate

No major surprises in Tuesday's elections


It was not the "blue wave" many Democrats had hoped for in elections nationwide Tuesday night as Republicans not only retained control of the U.S. Senate, they strengthened their position. But when it came to the state senate, Democrats are now in full control.

And then some.

Democrats needed to flip just a couple seats to their side to wrest away control of the senate from Republicans for the first time in a decade, and ultimately took eight seats, meaning Andrea Stewart-Cousins is set to become the new majority leader.

Democrats held on  to all their existing seats, and toppled incumbents out of four others, which will now give the party of Franklin Roosevelt 40 seats compared to 23 for Republicans. The only wildcard, of course, is Brooklyn senator Simcha Felder, who runs as a Democrat, but has caucused with Republicans in the past. However, even if he chooses to remain with the Republicans, it would be part of the minority party.

The biggest upsets came on Long Island when three Republicans — Carl Marcellino, Kemp Hannon and Elaine Phillips, with combined experience of 54 years on the senate — lost to Democratic challengers Jason Gaughran,  Kevin Thomas and Anna Kaplan, respectively. 

Alessandra Biaggi, who beat incumbent Jeffrey Klein in the September primary, easily cruised to victory in the 34th Senate District with 74 percent of the vote, according to election officials. Her Republican challenger, Richard Ribustello, grabbed just 15 percent of the vote.

Klein, who was still on the ballot representing the Independence Party, earned just 7 percent of the vote.

Klein had been the biggest upset of all the member of the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of breakaway Democrats who caucused with Republicans. Six of the eight former IDC members were toppled in the primaries. The only two who survived their challenges — Diane Savino and David Carlucci — won re-election Tuesday night.

Democrats retained control of the Assembly while Jeffrey Dinowitz easily defeated Alan H. Reed by a 72-point margin.

In Congressional races, Jineea Butler was no match for Adriano Espaillat, while Eliot Engel ran unopposed.

Voters also overwhelmingly approved three proposals on the ballot that would amend the New York City charter. They include expansion of public campaign financing, the creation of a Civic Engangement Commission, and term limits for community board members.


√ Andrew Cuomo (D) — 57.9%
Marc Molinaro (R) — 36.1%

√ Thomas DiNapoli (D) — 64.4%
Jonathan Trichter (R) — 30.7%

√ Letitia James (D) — 55.8%
Keith Wofford (R) — 34.4%

√ Kirsten Gillibrand (D) — 64.5%
Chele Chiavacci Farley (R) — 32.5%

U.S. CONGRESS — 13th
√ Adriano Espaillat (D) — 91.6%
Jineea Butler (R) — 5.2%

U.S. CONGRESS — 16th
√ Eliot Engel (D) — 80.4%

√ Gustavo Rivera (D) — 91.3%
Nicole Torres (R) — 4.1%

√ Alessandra Biaggi (D) — 73.6%
Richard Ribustello (R) — 14.8%

√ Jeffrey Dinowitz (D) — 84.5%
Alan H. Reed (R) — 12.0%

BALLOT PROPOSAL 1 — Campaign Finance
√ Yes — 80.3%
No — 19.8%

BALLOT PROPOSAL 2 — Civic Engagement Commission
√ Yes — 65.5%
No — 34.5%

BALLOT PROPOSAL 3 — Community Boards
√ Yes — 72.3%
No — 27.7%