Campaigns & Elections

New York’s 2018 statewide primary results

New York Democratic gubernatorial, lieutenant governor and attorney general primary results.

Cynthia Nixon and Andrew Cuomo

Cynthia Nixon and Andrew Cuomo Photo illustration by Kewen Chen

The polls have closed for three statewide Democratic primary races, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, the establishment-backed candidate for state attorney general, both emerged victorious, while Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul also beat back a spirited if unorthodox challenge from New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams.

The three races were all hotly contested, with Cuomo defeating actress and advocate Cynthia Nixon, Williams running a strong race against Hochul, and James fending off Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout and Verizon executive Leecia Eve in what was expected to be a closer race.  Check out the latest results from the state Board of Elections.

RELATED: IDC and other state legislative 2018 primary results


Andrew Cuomo: 64.17%

Cynthia Nixon: 34.12%

With 13,146 of 13,836 election districts reporting.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo fended off a challenge from the left to win a third term in office, beating actress and advocate Cynthia Nixon by a comfortable margin. The Associated Press called the race for the incumbent at 9:30 p.m., just half an hour after the polls closed, with Cuomo having just shy of two thirds support.

Cuomo's quest for a third term had ran into an unexpected obstacle with Nixon. She galvanized energy among progressives with her calls for universal rent control, Medicare-for-all and ending corruption, and railed against Cuomo over the dilapidated conditions in the New York City subway system. Nixon also swapped endorsements with other progressive candidates such as Williams, Zephyr Teachout and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but she received fewer endorsements. She also had only about a half million dollars on hand in the final weeks of the campaign, to compete against Cuomo’s nearly $40 million war chest.

The most recent Siena College poll had Cuomo up by 41 percentage points, but he took no chances, spending spent more than $8 million over the last three weeks, according to his most recent financial disclosures.  Two controversies in the past week weren't enough to slow him down: the botched opening of the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and a mailer to Jewish voters that alleged that Nixon is anti-Semitic, which sparked widespread condemnation from Cuomo supporters and opponents alike. If it's any consolation, Nixon  pushed Cuomo further to the left on issues such as legalizing recreational marijuana, a phenomenon dubbed the “Cynthia Effect.”


Kathy Hochul: 48.25%

Jumaane Williams: 42.44%

With 13,146 of 13,836 election districts reporting.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, Cuomo's running mate, had the narrowest victory of the three statewide Democratic primary winners, dispatching New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams. Hochul offered continuity as a traditional lieutenant governow, while Williams had vowed to transform the office into an independent watchdog similar to the role of the public advocate in New York City.

The two candidates exchanged jabs throughout the campaign, with Williams – who received endorsements from The New York Times and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders – alleging that Hochul has been operating a “very expensive ribbon-cutting office.” Hochul launched attacks of her own, alleging that Williams lacks the experience to step in as governor if need be and that his personal debt and past opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion should be disqualifying in a Democratic primary.

While the lieutenant governor candidates run separately in the primary, the winner will share a ballot line with the gubernatorial candidate in the general election - keeping things simpler for Cuomo in the general election.


Letitia James: 38.53%

Zephyr Teachout: 29.63%

Sean Patrick Maloney: 23.84%

Leecia Eve: 3.26%

With 13,146 of 13,836 election districts reporting.

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James won the Democratic primary for state attorney general, with her closest rival, Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout, nearly double digits behind. Her commanding victory, which was called by The Associated Press, was something of a surprise, given the tight race in several polls.

The latest Siena poll had shown a much tigher race, with Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney leading with 25 percent of likely primary voters, followed closely by James with 24 percent and Teachout trailing slightly with 18 percent. Leecia Eve finished last with only 3 percent. However, 30 percent of likely primary voters remain undecided - and many of them have appeared to get behind James, the establishment favorite.

Little separated the candidates policy-wise, with each running campaigns focused on resisting the administration of President Donald Trump and taking aim at corruption in Albany. James had the support of Cuomo, and her opponents suggested that she would not be sufficiently independent from the governor. Maloney can now continue with his reelection campaign for his House seat, while it's unclear what's next for Teachout, a progressive favorite who also fell short in bids for governor and Congress. James is now expected to win the general election in November against Republican Keith Wofford.

With reporting by Rebecca C. Lewis and Zach Williams