Zeldin concedes governor’s race to Hochul after a night of disbelief for his supporters

U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin at his election night watch party at Cipriani in Midtown Manhattan. Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
Photo by Dean Moses/amNY File

Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin officially conceded the race to Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul on Wednesday, hours after multiple media outlets called the race in her favor.

Zeldin initially didn’t concede at his campaign party Tuesday night in Midtown before a packed house of stunned spectators, holding out hope that enough votes would be found to close the gap between him and Hochul — which numbered in the hundreds of thousands of votes.

But on Wednesday afternoon, after realizing the deficit couldn’t be overcome, Zeldin issued a statement admitting defeat while congratulating the rival he had cast as being soft on crime and the economy for months.