DiNapoli, James, and Schumer All Cruise to Easy Victories
By Yehudit Garmaise
While Gov. Kathy Hochul was elected for the first time after an unusually close race with US Rep. Lee Zeldin, incumbents NY Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Attorney General Letitia James, and Sen. Chuck Schumer cruised to reelection decisively.
Showing that voters often want to keep in office officials who do their jobs well and keep low profiles: the power of incumbency, DiNapoli easily won his fifth term: a 15-year run, as the state’s comptroller when he beat his Republican opponent Paul Rodriguez.
Rodriguez had accused DiNapoli of neglecting to utilize the full power of the office, especially in campaign finance, while DiNapoli pointed to his long record of exposing financial wrongdoing and public corruption.
Attorney General Letitia James clinched a second term as the state’s top legal officer when she beat her challenger: Republican Michael Henry.
James stepped into the public eye more visibly in August 2021, when she presented the 168-page report that detailed the results of her investigation into former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, against whom at least 11 complaints had been launched.
After Cuomo quickly resigned in disgrace following James’ release of her report, NY’s attorney general briefly considered running for governor, before returning to her legal focus and pursuing a civil investigation into President Donald J. Trump for his allegedly corrupt business practices.
When Trump refused to testify in her civil investigation, James famously said, “No one will be permitted to stand in the way of the pursuit of justice, no matter how powerful they are.”
While James’ pursuit of Trump was celebrated by many New Yorkers, her Republican opponent Henry criticized James for using the power of her office to wage politically charged investigations and litigation.
Like US Rep. Zeldin, Henry, James’ opponent Henry, campaigned by criticizing the state’s surging crime and corruption, but experts say the Republican AG candidate failed to generate enough name recognition.
US Sen. Chuck Schumer, who hails from Brooklyn, won his fifth term as a NY senator when he easily beat his Republican opponent Joe Pinion.
Sen. Schumer serves as the Senate’s majority leader, however, as Congressional votes are counted nationwide, which party will take the majority remains in question.
“I promise to all of you here tonight, and all 20 million New Yorkers whom it is my honor to represent, I will keep fighting, I will keep this fight up for as long as it takes to win,” Sen. Schumer said in his victory speech.
“Onward to victory Democrats,” said Schumer, summing up the election results in NY yesterday.