LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Sizing Up the Election Results

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Sizing Up the Election Results
Philip Weiden

This year was a year for local, and in some cases state elections, across the country. Virginia and New Jersey both had governor’s races that had surprising outcomes.

In Virginia Glen Youngkin, Republican, defeated Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat for Governor. McAuliffe was expected to win easily but issues of jobs, school policies and a tough national political environment for the incumbent party enabled Youngkin to pull off an upset. Republicans also won the Virginia state Attorney General’s race, and Lieutenant Governor’s race. The GOP also won back the Virginia House of Delegates.

In New Jersey, Democratic Governor Phil Murphy who was ahead by about 10 to 15 points in the polls leading up to election day had a low single digit victory. His party also lost seats in the state legislature. Steve Sweeney the Democratic Senate President lost his race to an unknown candidate who spent next to no money on the race.
In Nassau and Suffolk counties power shifted away from the party in power toward the challengers. The issues mentioned were common, including higher inflation, labor shortages, rising gas prices and anger against ongoing pandemic restrictions.

In New York City Eric Adams won the mayoral election to replace outgoing Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Republican candidates picked up several council seats. Left wing challengers on the City Council also won their races. The incoming Mayor will have an adversarial City Council representing both political parties. Brad Lander won the Comptroller’s race, and Jumaane Williams was re-elected to the public advocate’s office.

The other dynamic to watch now will be the real estate industry vs. members of the City Council. The council may give the industry headaches but the mayor has praised the industry, pledged to be pro-business and end the fraught relationship that it had with Mayor DeBlasio.

Finally, in Westchester the opposite happened. Democrats held their own and did very well. George Latimer was easily re-elected as the county executive and the legislature will still hold a Democratic super majority.

Stay tuned for updates on these election races.

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