Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza
Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato celebrates her victory Tuesday night at the Old Mill Yacht Club in Howard Beach.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Area incumbents easily won their races Tuesday, helping to propel Democrats to control of the State Legislature.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) handily defeated Breezy Point veteran Tom Sullivan, 64 percent to 36 percent; while Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Howard Beach), with more than 70 percent of the votes tallied, cruised past Matthew Pecorino, budget director for City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park). Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) ran unopposed for his 38th District seat.
“It’s sweet because this is my first reelection,” Pheffer Amato noted Tuesday night at the Dems’ victory party inside the Old Mill Yacht Club on Cross Bay Boulevard. “I am grateful. I’ve been fortunate and blessed.”
Addabbo addressed the packed room at the club minutes after receiving a concession phone call from Sullivan.
“I told him something that I have never told another opponent: ‘I hope we get to work together in the future,’” the senator informed his supporters. “He’s a good man who ran a clean campaign.”
After thanking his family and staff, Addabbo said the real work starts in earnest this week.
“There are a lot of challenges ahead,” he said. “I look forward to it.”
Miller congratulated his colleagues—and thanked them.
“I’m very lucky because I get to work with two great people,” he said of Addabbo and Pheffer Amato. “I’m very lucky to have these guys as partners in government.”
U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Queens and Brooklyn) garnered more than 90 percent of the vote to earn another two years in the House of Representatives. Reps. Nydia Velazquez (D-Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan) and Grace Meng (D-Flushing) also won easily as Democrats regained control of the House.
“It is my hope that our new Democratic Majority will not only stop the extremist Trump agenda in its tracks, but also work to implement progressive policies that benefit working families in New York City and throughout our nation,” Velazquez said in a statement. “In the new Congress, I look forward to pushing policies that make housing more affordable, raise wages, preserve important pre-existing conditions protections and make healthcare more affordable and accessible for all. This election felt personal for many Americans, but especially for Latinos. To that end, I’ll continue advancing equality for all, especially Hispanic Americans and our immigrant brothers and sisters of all backgrounds. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but tonight’s results are an important stride in the right direction.”
Elsewhere, Gov. Andrew Cuomo beat GOP candidate Marc Molinaro for another four-year term; City Public Advocate Tish James made history Tuesday by becoming the first African-American New York Attorney General; and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli was rewarded for his reelection effort.
“I want taxpayers to know there is someone in Albany on their side, advocating for people of all backgrounds and fighting for what matters,” DiNapoli said in a statement late Tuesday night. “I pledge to do my job with integrity, honesty and independence. I know there is much to do, but I will always give you straightforward answers and be the person you can depend on to get the job done.”