2022 Election Update — State Legislature and Congressional Races

Last night, we sent an update that gave a general overview of the key takeaways from Election Day. We wanted to send another update that provides more granular detail on where we stand in the light of day. We want to note that there are still a number of races that are too close to call in the State Legislature, but there are additional key takeaways. We also wanted to note that Republican Gubernatorial candidate Representative Lee Zeldin has officially conceded the race to Governor Kathy Hochul.

State Senate

Although all polls, and very early election night returns, seemed to point towards the Democrats losing their supermajority, there is still a distinct possibility that Democrats may end up hanging onto their veto-proof majority in the State Senate.

In total, it appears Democrats are poised to have at least forty seats in the Senate. Twenty-two Democrats and eight Republicans have officially been declared winners in their Senate races. Additionally, it appears another eighteen Democrats and another fourteen Republicans will be declared winners in the other races not yet declared. Whether the Senate Democrats keep their supermajority will come down to two races that are currently too close to call:

  • District 16: I Wen Chu, Democrat, is leading the Republican candidate, Vito LaBella, by 215 votes.
  • District 50: Rebecca Shiroff, Republican, is currently leading Democratic incumbent Senator, John Mannion, by 396 votes.

While the overall number of Senate seats may remain the same for both the Democrats and the Republicans, the breakdown of where those seats are located and who maintains control of key areas will look different because several incumbents lost their races. Additionally, there were several open seats that changed party hands. On the Democratic side, in the 5th District, Senator John Brooks has likely lost to Steven Rhoads (R); in the 7th District, Senator Anna Kaplan (D) has likely lost to Jack Martins (R); and in the in the 38th District, Senator Elijah Reichlin- Melnick (D) has likely lost to Bill Weber (R).

In districts where incumbents were redistricted into the same district, the Democratic candidates prevailed. Senator Michelle Hinchey (D) beat Senator Susan Serino (R) in the 41st District, and Senator Sean Ryan (D) beat Senator Ed Rath (R) in the 61st District. In the 52nd District, which was an open seat because of current incumbent Senator Fred Akshar (R) running instead for Broome County Sheriff, the Democratic candidate, Lea Webb, appears to have defeated the Republican candidate, Richard David.

State Assembly

Heading into Election Day, there was an assumption that the veto-proof majority for the Assembly Democrats would not be in question. While it looks like this will remain true, the margin of this veto-proof majority has been decreased to a level most were not expecting.
Currently, Democrats hold 107 seats in the Assembly, and need 99 seats to maintain their veto- proof majority. While the idea of a significant swing in power based on the defeat of eight incumbent Democrats in the Assembly seemed virtually impossible, pending results show that there is a chance it could happen. While this chance is slight, the final results will certainly bring the Assembly Democrats much closer to their needed number to maintain the veto-proof majority.

Based on the election night results, these are the seats we are watching in the Assembly:

  • District 4: Assemblymember Steve Englebright is behind Republican challenger Edward Flood.
  • District 11: Assemblymember Kimberly Jean-Pierre has a slim margin ahead of Republican challenger Christopher Sperber.
  • District 21: Assemblymember Judy Griffin is behind Republican challenger Brain Curran.
  • District 23: Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer-Amato is behind Republican challenger Thomas P. Sullivan.
  • District 45: Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz is behind Republican challenger Michael Novakhov.
  • District 46: Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus is behind Republican Alec Brook- Krasny.
  • District 49: Assemblymember Peter Abbate is behind Republican Lester Chang.
  • District 90: Assemblymember Nader Sayegh has a slim margin ahead of Republican Michael Breen.

In addition to the close races for these incumbents, we also saw the District 63 seat, previously held by the retiring Assembly Energy Chair Mike Cusick, change hands with the defeat of Democrat Vincent Argenziano by Republican Sam Pirozzolo. The final results for these seats will come down to the absentee ballot count, which will start soon and not likely have final results for some time.

It is important to note that all of these results will impact the committee chairs in both the Senate and Assembly next year. In the Senate, the defeat of Senators Brooks, Kaplan and Reichlin- Melnik means we will have new chairs for the Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs Committee, the Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee and the Procurement and Contracts Committee. Additionally, there will be new chairs for the Environmental and Local Governments Committees based on the fact that the chairs of these committees did not seek reelection. As new Senators are elevated to take over as committee chairs, other committee chair positions will open up as well in what is called churn in Albany.

In the Assembly, if these initial results held, we would see new Committee Chairs for the Environmental Conservation Committee, Housing Committee and the Governmental Employees Committee. This is in addition to new chairs for the Energy Committee, Health Committee and the Real Property Taxation Committee, where the current chairs did not seek reelection. Further, the Insurance Committee and People with Disabilities Committee will also need new chairs because the current chairs were defeated in their Primary Election bids. As with the Senate, we will see a lot of churn in the Assembly.

Federal Races

While Senator Charles Schumer was quickly declared the winner last night in his Senate race, several of the races for the U.S. House of Representatives could not be declared that quickly and will go to the absentee ballot count similar to the races we highlighted for the State Senate and Assembly. What is interesting is that at the national level, it was anticipated that the Republicans would easily take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. This did not happen and control of the House will come down to a handful of key races, and in a scenario that seemed impossible before last night, several of those key races are in New York. Perhaps the most shocking result is the defeat of incumbent Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, who has conceded his race to Republican challenger Michael Lawler. Congressman Maloney is the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is charged with electing Democrats across the country. It was assumed he would be in a safe seat and an easy win for the Congressional Democrats. The Republicans are also poised to pick up two seats on Long Island, and in the Hudson Valley and one in Syracuse.

We will continue to monitor the election results and send updates as appropriate. As always, if you have any questions, please let us know.

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