PRIMARY DAY: Low turnout as Cuomo, Hochul win

A woman votes at Blessed Mary Angela St. Hyacinth for the primary races Thursday evening. Races saw low voter turnout not only across Chautauqua County, but across the state.

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo easily beat back a primary challenge from activist and actress Cynthia Nixon on Thursday, thwarting her attempt to become the latest insurgent liberal to knock off an establishment Democrat.

In the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, incumbent Kathy Hochul, a former congresswoman from Buffalo, defeated challenger Jumaane Williams, a New York City councilman who had promised if elected to serve as a check on Cuomo.

Cuomo, who always led in the polls and outspent his rival more than 8 to 1, seldom mentioned Nixon by name during an often-nasty campaign, instead touting his experience, achievements in two terms as governor and his work to push back against President Donald Trump.

In his moment of victory, Cuomo was oddly silent, skipping his own election-night party in Manhattan to celebrate with family at the governor’s mansion in Albany. He put out a tweet that said simply “Thank You New York.” His campaign declined to issue a statement.

“It’s New York’s obligation to stand up and lead and lead against a lot of these changes in Washington that are totally opposite of who we are as New Yorkers and what we believe,” he said earlier at his Westchester County polling place. “There is a divisiveness coming out of Washington that I think is cancerous to this nation.”

Thursday’s results were good across the board for Cuomo, whose preferred candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general also survived contentious primaries. And despite Nixon’s loss, liberals celebrated victories for several left-leaning challengers who ousted longtime legislative incumbents.

Cuomo, who won with about 65 percent of vote, secured endorsements from Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and even Nicki Minaj, and spent much of the race touting his own liberal accomplishments such as same-sex marriage, gun control and paid family leave. And he increasingly made the race about pushing back against Trump and other Republicans. At the same time, he dismissed Nixon as a naive dilettante and mocked her work as an actress.

In the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, incumbent Kathy Hochul, a former congresswoman from Buffalo, defeated challenger Jumaane Williams, a New York City councilman who had promised if elected to serve as a check on Cuomo.

Cuomo’s pick for attorney general, New York City Public Advocate Tish James, won a four-way Democratic primary.

Nixon now must decide whether she wants to run on the November ballot as a candidate for the third-party Working Families Party, thanks to a New York state law that allows candidates to run on multiple ballot lines. Early in the campaign, Nixon said she would stand aside if she lost the Democratic primary, but it remains to be seen whether the party can remove her name from the ballot.

Here are the results from Chautauqua County:

DEMOCRAT

Governor

¯ Andrew M. Cuomo: 3,030

¯ Cynthia E. Nixon: 1,674

Lieutenant Governor

¯ Kathy C. Hochul: 3,610

¯ Jumaane Williams: 1,024

Attorney General

¯ Sean Patrick Maloney: 2,309

¯ Letitia A. James: 709

¯ Leecia R. Eve: 269

¯ Zephyr Teachout: 1,289

REFORM

Attorney General

¯ Nancy B. Sliwa: 56

¯ Mike Diederich: 37

¯ Christopher B. Garvey: 15

CONSERVATIVE

Sheriff

¯ Joseph A. Gerace: 104

¯ James B. Quattrone: 217

Ripley Town Justice

¯ Lawrence M. Freligh: 6

¯ John P. Hamels: 2

INDEPENDENT

Ripley Town Justice

¯ Lawrence M. Freligh: 4

¯ John P. Hamels: 5

Portland Town Justice

¯ Daniel R. Thompson: 9

¯ Michelle L. Patterson: 7

¯ Thomas S. DeJoe: 15

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