NEW YORK (PIX11)-- A victorious Andrew Cuomo declared, "You ain't seen nothing yet," as he thanked a throng of supporters and laid out a bold agenda for his second term.
He said he was pleased to receive a congratulatory call from Republican challenger Rob Astorino who trailed consistenly in the polls and was unable to match Cuomos 10 to 1 funding for the campaign.
Cuomo became the first Democrat in almost 25 years to win re-election. His father succeeded in doing that in 1990. The younger Cuomo introduced his mother and father to the cheers of the crowd. Mario Cuomo looked frail and weak as he crossed the stage.
The Governor introduced his new Lt Governor, former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul. Cuomo handidly won the election, but failed to get the 62 % of the vote he garnered in 2010. Critics say despite his victory, his image is tarnished because of his disbanding of the Moreland Commision which he created to root out corruption in Albany. Many upstate voters spurned him because of his passage of the SAFE act, a tough gun control law that Astorino vowed to repeal if elected. The Governor also found detractors among supporters of fracking, a new way to extract natural gas. Supporters say it would create needed jobs upstate. Cuomo has been riding the fence on the issue until he says he gets concrete evidence from the scientists that the procedure is safe.
The rest of the slate of top state leaders also cruised to victory, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
Congressman Charlie Rangel faced no opposition in his quest for a 22nd term, one which he said would be his last. On Staten Island, Michael Grimm outdistanced his opponent Dominic Rechhia for a return to Congress, despite serious criminal charges hanging over his head.
The only real suspense of the night was the balance of power in Albany and whether Cuomo's coat were long enough to bring a Democratic majority to the state senate. Republicans were making advances in a number of key races, defeating incumbent Democrats. Gov. Cuomo has said a Democratic majority was critical for his legislative goals in his second term.
Among those goals, he said, was passage of the Womens' Equality Act and a raise in the state minimum wage.