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Clinton, Spitzer, Spencer, Cuomo Advance In Primaries

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  • See complete primary returns.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton, Elliot Spitzer, John Spencer and Andrew Cuomo have all been declared the winners of their respective primaries, making it a clean sweep for all four pre-race favorites.

    Spitzer, the New York State Attorney General, was declared the winner of Tuesday's Democratic gubernatorial primary shortly after polls closed at 9 p.m., easily defeating Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi.

    "Tonight we embark on a journey I'm proud to be part of," Spitzer told supporters in his victory speech. "Thank you, New York, for giving us the opportunity to turn this state around. And we will do it."

    Suozzi offered his concession from Long Island shortly after 10 p.m. and immediately endorsed Spitzer in the race for governor.

    "I got in the race for governor to do the best I could," Suozzi said. "I tried to make this a campaign of new ideas, and I think we made a real difference in the state of New York."

    In the primary to represent the Democratic Party in the race for Senate, Hillary Rodham Clinton won an easy victory over anti-war activist Jonathan Tasini, and will face former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer in the November election.

    Spencer was declared the winner over Reagan-era Pentago official "K.T." McFarland shortly after 9:40 p.m.

    When asked by NY1's Bobby Cuza, why he thinks he has a shot at winning the Senate seat in the Democratic State of New York, Spencer indicated that he remains undaunted.

    "It's been done before," he said. "Ronald Reagan won New York; Al D'Amato won New York... This idea that it can't be done is un-American."

    In a concession that sounded more like a campaign speech, McFarland read from notes, outlining the values of the Republican Party as she sees it, including a reduction in government spending, strong investment in defense, weaning New Yorkers and Americans off of foreign oil and encouraging minority involvement in the GOP Party.

    In what was expected to be the closest thing to a tight race, former federal Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo was declared the winner of the Democratic primary for state attorney general shortly before 10 p.m., defeating former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green.

    Speaking just before 11 p.m., Cuomo triumphantly thanked the hundreds of people who supported his campaign, introducing several members of his family by name as he invited them onto the stage with him. He then acknowledged his gratitude for being included on what he called a "great, great Democratic ticket."

    "November has a lot of promise," Cuomo said. "And a better future for the State of New York."

    Cuomo also indicated that he plans to hit the ground running Wednesday, launching a statewide campaign tour, during which he plans to "speak to people's hopes, not their fears."

    "You've made me the comeback candidate," he said to those gathered at in Midtown, to wild applause.

    In a gracious concession speech, delivered from Lower Manhattan just after 10:30 p.m., Green praised Cuomo and expressed his support for him in the general election.

    "They started ahead and they ended ahead. It's a success that will serve Andrew Cuomo well when he serves as our attorney general," said Green. "We fought hard and well and there's enormous satisfaction in that."

    But while Green didn't indicate whether this would be his last race, he did concede that he may not be a good politician, he is a "good teacher and advocate." He said he intends to continue to contribute in those capacities.

    "This is goodnight, but not goodbye," he concluded.

    Trailing behind Green was former Clinton White House official Sean Patrick Maloney. A fourth name also appeared on the ballot, although Democrat Charlie King actually dropped out of the race last week and threw his support behind Cuomo.

    Cuomo will take on Republican Jeanine Pirro, who did not face a primary challenge Tuesday.

    Polls heading into Primary Day indicated that Spitzer had a landslide lead over Suozzi in the gubernatorial primary. Both men cast their vote Tuesday morning to determine who will face former State Assembly Minority Leader John Faso in the November general election.

    Likewise, Clinton was expected to coast easily to victory in her the Democratic primary.

    Low turnout left poll workers at P.S. 19 in Corona, Queens waiting for voters to come out.

    "It is very slow this morning," said one poll worker.

    "Here we take it for granted. We don't come out, and people don't understand this is what affects day to day life," added another.

    Even some voters who did turn out admitted they don't usually focus on the primaries.

    "One of my friends is running, so that's why I came out, to vote for him. [I probably wouldn't come out if he wasn't running], not on Primary Day," said a voter.

    Those who didn't voting were not apologizing.

    "I'm not voting in the primary. I'm voting in the general election. I don't consider the primary election as important as general election," said a non-voting Queens resident.
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