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Kennedy tops Quinn in $3 million race

Republican Jack F. Quinn III conceded victory to his Democratic opponent for the State Senate -- Timothy M. Kennedy -- at around midnight this morning, ending one of the most brutal state legislative battles in recent history.

Quinn, now an outgoing assemblyman, gave credit to Kennedy for a hard fought race, and estimated the two knocked on about 40,000 doors during the campaign. But he said he may not yet be done with politics.

"This is not the end of Jack Quinn," he said.

What may mark this race as one for the history books, however, is the fast amount of money spent by the two campaigns, the two Senate campaign committees, and outside groups.

"I think it will end up being around $3 million," he said.

--Robert J. McCarthy

Audio: DelMonte calls Accardo 'spoiler' in 138th Assembly district race

Incumbent Francine DelMonte finished third in a three-way race for the 138th State Assembly district seat, with Republican John D. Ceretto winning the seat, according to unofficial results.

In a phone interview with The Buffalo News, the five-term incumbent blamed John G. Accardo -- the former Niagara Falls councilman who beat DelMonte in the Democratic primary -- for her loss.

Listen to a portion of the interview here:

Here's what Accardo said in a phone interview about DelMonte staying in the race on the Working Families line after losing in the primary:

“I think it affected the results, I think that was the whole race right there. She simply took enough votes away from me to deny me, or deny a Democrat that seat," Accardo said. "So she was successful, and I congratulate John Ceretto because John ran a great race. He’s going to make a very good representative for us in the state Assembly. So I congratulate him, I’m happy for him tonight and I’ll give him all the support I can as our next state Assemblyman.”

--Aaron Besecker

Video: Paladino's speech

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Sampson rushes to congratulate Cuomo

NEW YORK -- One of the first Democrats out of the box after Cuomo's win tonight? Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson, who may or may not still be leader of the Senate tonight if the GOP takes back control of the 62-member chamber.

And, it's not certain even if the Democrats do still maintain control after tonight whether Sampson will be leader come January. The Brooklyn Democrat is among the lawmakers caught up in the scandal over a since-scuttled contract for a lucrative downstate casino. Federal prosecutors and the Manhattan district attorney's office is looking at possible criminal violations, though it is not certain who might be the precise target of the probes.And, recall that Sampson heads a group of lawmakers who have been regularly beat up by Cuomo as part of Albany's dysfunction.So, with that as background, here are the words from Sampson tonight -- all about working "side-by-side" -- after Cuomo was declared the winner:

“New York needs strong leaders in hard times to make the tough decisions. Governor-Elect Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor-elect Robert Duffy have the independence to do what is right and the experience to get it done.

“If 2008 was about the changing of the guard, then 2010 was about the guarding of the change. Working with Governor-elect Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor-elect Duffy we stand ready to continue what we started and build the New York we can be, should be, and will be.

“Throughout his career, he has tackled big problems and always put the people of New York first. From job creation, to property tax relief, to reducing the cost of government, I look forward to working side-by-side with Andrew Cuomo and Robert Duffy to deliver the change New York needs and the government our state deserves.”

-- Tom Precious 

Big business is in the house

NEW YORK -- Kenneth Adams, president of the Business Council of New York State, which endorsed Cuomo, said Cuomo will take office at a time when the state has again been identified as the nation’s worst in the level of taxation and the state deficit is on the march upward again.

“Putting together a budget that responds to the deficit but leads to private sector job growth is going to be the challenge. The urgency of the economic crisis facing New York state demands immediate preparation," Adams said of the need for Cuomo to get to work quickly on next year’s budget.

“Now is the time to get to work," Adams said.

-- Tom Precious

Big labor is in the house

NEW YORK – The state’s chief labor leader said Andrew Cuomo’s celebration, just projected by NY1 and CNN, will not last long.

“Andrew has an $8.5 billion budget gap to close, and that’s his major challenge," said Denis Hughes, president of the state ALF-CIO.

“That’s a big deal for all of us," Hughes said.

Hughes, possibly predicting a bumpy ride for Cuomo in the months ahead, recalled the many fiscal battles labor in New York has had with governors. “We went through this with his father in the late 1980s. We went through it with George Pataki in the aftermath of the attack on the trade center. We’ve gone through it with Eliot [Spitzer], and with David Paterson. We we know how to deal with these things," Hughes said.

-- Tom Precious

Live from Republican Headquarters

Stay tuned for Carl Paladino's speech as it happens.

Earlier in the night, News reporter Phil Fairbanks spoke to Erie County Republican chairman Nicholas Langworthy. Catch the end of their conversation:

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Schumer predicts Democratic victories for U.S. Senate

NEW YORK – U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer predicted his party will hold onto the U.S. Senate in the face of a Republican surge across the country. 

“It looks a little better than we had feared – that our worst fears are not being realized," Schumer, a Brooklyn Democrat, said tonight in Manhattan of U.S. Senate races.

In his own re-election bid, Schumer from the start has been far ahead in the polls against Republican Jay Townsend, and he was cautiously predicting his own victory. “I work hard every day for six years to earn every vote and it looks like it’s paying off," Schumer said of his own race.

As for the House of Representatives, which Republicans are seeking to re-take tonight, Schumer said, “We’ll hope and pray."

-- Tom Precious

Cuomo on Cuomo: "He's got everything you need''

NEW YORK - -Former Gov. Mario Cuomo, who is poised to see his son, Andrew, assume his old job if he wins tonight, said the next governor faces an enormous challenge in the face of continuing budget problems in the state.

“It’s going to be very difficult no matter how good he is, and he is good. He’s going to need one thing, and that’s the cooperation of a high number of people in both parties in both houses. And that’s the key," the former governor said as he entered the midtown hotel here to join his son in an upper-floor suite.

“I’ll feel a little better when I hear the results," he told a well-wisher. When a Democrat offered him congratulations, the former governor said, "It’s a little early for that."

The three-term Democratic governor offered a healthy dose of optimism for his son. “I’m trying very hard to be objective. I can’t think of anybody, anybody in this state, who is better equipped to do it. I mean if you look at his background, he’s had tremendous management experience. He studied under one of the best teachers ever –- [former President] Clinton. I mean Clinton taught him a lot," Cuomo said of the former president, who he once considered a rival when he considered a run for president in 1992.

“He’s not a kid. He’s been up, he’s been down. He’s got everything you need," Cuomo said of his son.

Cuomo made his remarks about an hour before polls were to close tonight.

-- Tom Precious 

National general election returns map

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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