AP Calls Gubernatorial Primary for Cuomo and Hochul

Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul earlier this week. (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul earlier this week. (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Based on unofficial returns, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul have defeated their upstart primary challengers Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu and will go on to run for governor and lieutenant governor in the general election this November.

Both the Associated Press and NY1 have called the races for Mr. Cuomo and Ms. Hochul shortly after 10 p.m.

“Today’s outcome is a testament to the progress we have made together over the last four years: restoring economic opportunity, replacing dysfunction with results, putting people before politics and re-establishing New York as a progressive leader for the nation,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement following a concession from Ms. Teachout and Mr. Wu.

According to early returns collected by WNYC at 10:20 p.m., just before Mr. Wu took the stage to concede, with 43.4 percent of precincts reporting Mr. Cuomo has 60.4 percent of the vote compared to Ms. Teachout’s 35.5 percent.

Ms. Hochul, meanwhile, has 60.6 percent to Mr. Wu’s 39.4 percent, according to WNYC.

Mr. Cuomo—with much more money and much more organization—was expected to handily beat his long-shot challenger, Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout. In fact Mr. Cuomo barely acknowledged he was being challenged, making few campaign stops and declining a debate. But Tuesday night he offered brief kind words for his left-wing challengers.

“I also want to congratulate Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu on running a spirited campaign, engaging in the democratic process and having the courage to make their voices heard,” Mr. Cuomo said.

Election law requires candidates for governor and lieutenant governor to run separately, and observers expected the race to be closer between Ms. Hochul, a Western New York politician with considerably lower name recognition than the governor, and Mr. Wu, a tech expert and Columbia Law professor who has received several newspaper endorsements in recent days. But with early returns, Mr. Cuomo and Ms. Hochul appear evenly positioned against their respective opponents.

“I am sincerely honored that Democrats from every corner of this state have put their faith in me to be their nominee for Lieutenant Governor,” Ms. Hochul said in a statement. “As a proud daughter of Buffalo, I have a deep gratitude for the support and encouragement they have shown to me. And I would also like to thank Tim Wu for running such a spirited campaign.”

For Mr. Cuomo, his own victory is perhaps not as sweet as he might have imagined months ago when he persuaded the Working Families Party to endorse him—and not Ms. Teachout—by agreeing to pursue several of their key issues in his next term. Ms. Teachout went on to challenge the incumbent Mr. Cuomo for the Democratic line instead, and, as the author of a book called Corruption, seized on allegations that the governor had interfered with the corruption-busting Moreland Commission when it came knocking on his own door. Mr. Cuomo will have wanted to put up a strong showing against Ms. Teachout—and would have strongly preferred not to face a challenger in a primary at all.

Still, the governor had the benefit of a vastly bigger war chest and the get-out-the-vote operation of a slew of unions backing him, as well as the support of politicians like Mayor Bill de Blasio—all also supporting Ms. Hochul. While Ms. Hochul has worked crowds across the state, Mr. Cuomo has largely avoided the campaign trail, and both candidates declined to debate Ms. Teachout or Mr. Wu.

With more money — and a term as governor under his belt—Mr. Cuomo was able to run television ads and send robocalls touting middle class tax cuts, on-time budgets, and the passage of gun control and gay marriage legislation.

But the rolling out of several high-profile endorsements—especially those of political figures like Mr. de Blasio considered “progressive”—in recent weeks indicates that the Cuomo Hochul campaign was worried, at least in the lieutenant’s race, about appearing liberal enough for Democratic voters. Ms. Teachout and Mr. Wu have sought to paint both Mr. Cuomo and Ms. Hochul as too conservative for the party’s faithful.

Updated with statements from Mr. Cuomo and Ms. Hochul.

AP Calls Gubernatorial Primary for Cuomo and Hochul