While Nicole Malliotakis came up far short in the race for mayor on Tuesday, she tried to make the best of a tough night, with some of her fellow Republicans predicting that the 36-year-old state assemblywoman still has a bright future in politics. NY1 Political Reporter Courtney Gross filed the following report from her election night headquarters.
Just before 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nicole Malliotakis walked into a Williamsburg hotel ballroom to concede the race for mayor.
"We did not win this election," she said to her supporters in her concession speech. "We were loud and clear in showing that the status-quo must end, and that there are many people — thousands of people across this city — that deserve to be heard."
Malliotakis did not mention her rival, Mayor Bill de Blasio, in her speech.
She told NY1 on Tuesday night that she left him a voicemail before delivering her concession speech.
"I came out here and just spoke from the heart on what I believe in, and I did call to congratulate him, I left him a message, and I am willing to work with him in any way I can," Malliotakis told me.
Election results show Malliotakis did marginally better than the last Republican candidate for mayor, Joe Lhota. Tuesday's returns also showed she had a decisive victory in her home borough of Staten Island.
There is no question her candidacy raised the assemblywoman's profile, prompting some to speculate about her political future.
"I am not looking to run for anything else right now," she told me. "I'm just looking to celebrate tonight with my family and friends."
Beyond Malliotakis, questions are swirling around the future of the city's Republican Party. For the first time since 1985, a Democrat was re-elected to lead City Hall. In addition, the party didn't field candidates for the city council in more than 20 races.
But the GOP establishment was not entirely surrendering.
"There is a tremendous undercurrent of discontent with the mayor, which probably accounts for the low turnout," said Ed Cox, the chairman of the New York Republican Party.
Nonetheless, it was a decisive victory for de Blasio, which means Malliotakis will head back to Staten Island and the state assembly — at least for now.