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Election 2022: LaLota elected to Congress; Zeldin loses bid for governor

As it neared midnight, and with the results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections still not posted, Republican candidate Nick LaLota stepped to the podium at the GOP watch party in Patchogue.

“They have you prepare a victory speech, they have you prepare a concession speech, but they don’t have you prepare a ‘We got to wait for the results’ speech,” he said.

It was that kind of night across Suffolk County, as the fallout from the cyber attack forced the Suffolk County Board of Elections to alter how the final votes would be tallied together, leading to much longer delays than usual.

Shortly before 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, the first results began to appear online as the watch parties for both the Democrats and Republicans already began to empty out.

Mr. LaLota, a former Suffolk County Board of Elections commissioner, didn’t have to wait too much longer to find out he had won the race for the 1st Congressional District.

Nick LaLota won the seat for the 1st Congressional District. (Credit: John Griffin)

At 1:04 a.m., the Associated Press called the race in his favor as he defeated County Legislator Bridget Fleming, the Democrat. Mr. LaLota wins the seat vacated by Rep. Lee Zeldin, keeping the reshaped district Republican.

Mr. Zeldin lost his bid for governor as Democrat Kathy Hochul won to become the first woman elected governor of New York. Ms. Hochul had previously been lieutenant governor before taking over the top spot in the state when Andrew Cuomo resigned in 2021.

Republican state Senator Anthony Palumbo of New Suffolk won reelection, as did Democrat Fred Thiele in the 1st Assembly District.

In the most contentious issue this election season on Shelter Island, unofficial results showed that voters defeated Proposition 3 by an extremely narrow margin to allow a 0.5% real estate transfer tax to fund affordable housing opportunities. The unofficial tally was showing 889 against the measure and 881 in favor.

 In Southold Town, voters approved Proposition 3 and East Hampton and Southampton also approved the addition to the CPF.

Mr. Zeldin refused to concede when addressing supporters shortly after midnight, but the AP called the race at 12:52 a.m. With about 84% of districts reporting as of 1:20 a.m., Ms. Hochul had 53.36% of the votes, compared to 45.79% for Mr. Zeldin.