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NY State Primaries: Despite Progressive Surge, Nixon and Williams Lose to Cuomo and Hochul

Still, history was made: Public Advocate Tish James is the first African-American woman to win the Democratic nomination for NY State attorney general.
Cynthia Nixon, BK Reader
Photo credit: BK Reader

In a tumultuous election year that has been full of surprises caused by progressive insurgents, it was time for registered New York voters to cast their ballots in the 2018 New York State primary election on Thursday. 

After posing a fierce challenge to Governor Andrew Cuomo, actress and activist Cynthia Nixon could not land the big upset she had hoped for, as she conceded in a passionate speech in front of her cheering supporters at an election party in Flatbush. 

Photo credit: BK Reader

"We took on one of the most powerful governors in America," said Nixon. "And while the result tonight wasn't what we had hoped for, I'm not discouraged. Primaries force politicians to respond not just to their corporate donors on top, but to the grassroots energy pushing from the bottom. Because of what we did in this campaign, the Democratic Party in New York is stronger and more progressive than when we started. I'm inspired. And I hope you are too."

Nixon was joined by her progressive allies, NYC Councilmember Jumaane Williams who challenged incumbent Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and lost by a 6.7 percent margin, and Fordham professor Zephyr Teachout who came in second in the race for NY attorney general -- behind NYC Public Advocate Letitia James who made history as the first African-American woman to win the Democratic nomination for the position.

Jumaane Williams joined by Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte. Photo credit: BK Reader

Despite his defeat, Williams came out swinging, stating that "the revolution is stronger than ever," and was greeted with roaring applause by the audience.

"This is a moment to celebrate our democracy and the hard work it takes to make it work," said Williams. "It was hard work when we launched our campaign, and this hard work won't end tonight. We've only just begun. What we've shown tonight is that the status quo of cynical politics is no longer acceptable and that any 'blue won't just do.'"

The progressive blue wave did sweep the state senate race: State Senator Martin Malave Dilan of the 18th District was defeated by his opponent Julia Salazar, and State Senator Jesse Hamilton of the 20th District, who came under fire for his IDC affiliation, lost his bid for re-election to activist Zellnor Myrie.

NY State primaries 2018
Cynthia Nixon (m.), Women's March co-founder Linda Sarsour (l.) and Zephyr Teachout (r.) while listening to Jumaane Williams' passionate speech. Photo credit: BK Reader

See all results of the 2018 Democratic NY State primary election here:


Andrew M. Cuomo, 975,664 votes (65.6%)

Cynthia Nixon, 511,661 votes (34.4%

Lieutenant Governor

Kathy Hochul, 731,459 votes (53.3%)

Jumaane Williams, 640,530 votes (46.7%)

NY State Attorney General 

Letitia James, 570,241 votes (40.4%)

Zephyr Teachout, 439,167 votes (31.1%)

Sean Patrick Maloney, 353,025 votes (25%)

Leecia Eve 48,175 votes (3.4%)

State Senate District 18 (Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Bushwick, Cypress Hills)

Julia Salazar, 20,267 votes (58.5%)

Martin Malave Dilan, 14,406 votes (41.5%)

State Senate District 20 (Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope and Sunset Park)

Zellnor Myrie, 22,601 votes (54.1%)

Jesse Hamilton, 19,138 votes (45.9%)

State Assembly District 53  (Bushwick, East Williamsburg)

Maritza Davila, 10,198 votes (82%)

Humberto Soto, 2,232 votes (18%)

State Assembly District 60 (East New York)

Charles Barron, 11,602 votes (80.3%)

Jaytee Spurgeon, 2,841 votes (19.7%)

For a complete list of all election results please go here. Please note that we only listed candidates who faced a Democratic challenger. The general NY State election will take place on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.