U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a 64-year-old Democrat who has never lost a race, continued her winning streak with a primary victory over first-time candidate Reshma Saujani, 34, a former hedge fund lawyer.
For the first time in 18 years, Maloney faced a serious challenge in her "Silk Stocking District," which encompasses much of Manhattan's East Side and a chunk of Western Queens. Maloney is all but guaranteed re-election in November in this heavily Democratic district.
She won handily, being declared the victor with 81 percent of the vote and 35 percent of precincts reporting. She faces Republican David Brumberg in the general election, according to projected results.
A longtime advocate for the rights of women, children and families, Maloney is known for her efforts to boost mass transit infrastructure in the state and expand healthcare access and services. She's also been a staunch advocate for gun control.
In a statement following her victory, Maloney said she was "honored and humbled" and thanked her supporters and volunteers for building a successful grassroots campaign.
"From standing up to consumers to creating jobs to standing up for women, children and families, I am more dedicated than ever to the causes I have championed throughout my career," she said in the statement. "I never stop fighting for New Yorkers – and in tough times, I fight even harder."
Saujani, who called Maloney "a mediocre but reliable Democrat" during her campaign and attempted to paint her as ineffective and out of touch with her constituents, released a series of attack ads after the congresswoman initially refused to debate her opponent.
Following that initial refusal, Maloney agreed to a radio debate that would not be open to TV cameras. The debate prompted missteps for both sides.
Saujani raised more than $1.3 million, much of it from Wall Street. She's of Indian heritage and made a strong play for South Asian voters.
In December 2008, Maloney waged an effort to win Gov. David Paterson's appointment as Hillary Clinton's successor. Caroline Kennedy assumed the limelight during the process, however, and Maloney only interviewed with the governor briefly. Paterson later appointed Kirsten Gillibrand, who handily won her primary this evening against little-known city attorney Gail Goode, to the seat.
On the Republican side, businessman Randy Altschuler prevailed in a three-way contest in eastern Long Island to face incumbent Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in November. Chris Cox, the grandson of the late President Richard M. Nixon and son of state Republican Chairman Ed Cox, came in a distant third.
On Staten Island, former FBI agent Michael Grimm easily defeated businessman Michael Allegretti to take on first term Democratic Rep. Michael McMahon. McMahon is considered vulnerable in the most conservative of New York City's five boroughs.
In upstate New York, investment banker Matt Doheny defeated Doug Hoffman despite Hoffman's strong support among tea party supporters.
Hoffman, who rose to fame last year when he challenged the hand-picked GOP candidate in a special election to replace Republican Rep. John McHugh, may do the same again this time. He has vowed to stay on as the nominee of the Conservative Party, setting up a three way race that could help Democratic Rep. Bill Owens win re-election.