New York reacts to Biden’s victory

People gather in Times Square to celebrate the election of Joe Biden.
People gather in Times Square to celebrate the election of Joe Biden.
Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock
New Yorkers celebrate in the streets on Saturday after Joe Biden was declared the victor of the presidential election.

New York reacts to Biden’s victory

Democrats celebrate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ historic win.
November 7, 2020

After a long few days of ballot counting – and baseless claims of election fraud from the Oval Office – former Vice President Joe Biden was projected the winner of the 2020 presidential election Saturday morning, as Pennsylvania was called in his favor, putting him over the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.

The city President Donald Trump used to call home erupted in celebration. Revelers took to the streets across the city, with large groups gathering to celebrate in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park and Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, among other places. 

Here’s how some of New York’s lawmakers and other political leaders reacted.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo congratulated Vice President-elect Kamala Harris too, on her history-making achievement. Harris will be not only the first woman to become vice president, but also the first Black and South Asian person election to the position.

Attorney General Letitia James

Trump has made a lot of enemies in his four years in office, and state Attorney General Letitia James – with her countless lawsuits against the Trump administration – is one of them. James looked forward to the “bright” future of a Biden-Harris administration in a tweet on Saturday.

State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

After congratulating Biden and Harris, Stewart-Cousins got straight to business, vowing to work with the new administration to help New York recover from the pandemic.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie

Where else to run into Joe Biden but on Amtrak? Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie congratulated Biden and Harris, tweeting a photo of a chance run-in on the Northeast Corridor.

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

We were all prepared for the cascade of “you’re fired” tweets to hit the timeline, and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’ Saturday morning message didn’t disappoint. “Um … so … Donald Trump, you’re fired,” Williams said in a Twitter video, before vowing to do what public advocates do best: hold the victors accountable.

State Sen. Zellnor Myrie

Brooklyn state Sen. Zellnor Myrie was one of the many New Yorkers to flood the streets in celebration on Saturday. Always a leader, Myrie was seen at the front of a dance party.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

The Biden/Harris ticket did what former New York Sen. Hillary Clinton didn’t, but Clinton didn’t hesitate to offer praise for the history-making ticket.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio may have had harsh words for Biden during his doomed presidential campaign last year, but the mayor had nothing but praise to share on Saturday morning.  

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has been vocal about the fact that Biden was not her first choice and about the need to hold the new administration accountable to pursuing progressive policies, nonetheless congratulated Biden and Harris.

Incoming Rep. Jamaal Bowman

Partying in the streets wasn’t just limited to crowds in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The soon-to-be newest member of Congress in Westchester and the Bronx tweeted a video of himself vibing in his car.

Rep. Max Rose

Rep. Max Rose, who faces what looks to be a losing battle in his bid to secure reelection in his Staten Island and Brooklyn district, could at least take comfort in a Biden win on Saturday.

New York’s Democratic lawmakers weren’t the only ones to react to the news on Saturday, of course. As Biden pulled ahead in key battleground states in the past few days, Trump grew uncharacteristically quiet, piping up only to baselessly accuse states of voter fraud or falsely claim that he, in fact, was winning the election. In a Saturday morning tweet that has since been flagged by Twitter – that Twitter said was possibly written before the race was called by official sources – Trump said falsely that he won the election “by a lot.”

In a statement on Saturday, his campaign accused Biden of prematurely posing as the winner – something Trump himself did earlier this week. “The simple fact is this election is far from over,” the statement read. “Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested contests headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.”

New York Republicans were relatively quiet after the news broke, with leaders including state Republican Committee Chair Nick Langworthy and state Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt not having tweeted as of early Saturday afternoon. Other New York Republicans looked on the bright side of a Biden win.

New York City Council Member Joe Borelli

It’s hard to overstate how devastating the loss will be for Trump, but as one New York lawmaker put it, it’s all part of the 2020 experience. 

State Sen. Michael Gianaris

Annie McDonough
Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.