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Cuomo Defeats Teachout, Wins New York Democratic Primary

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- With 78 percent of the precincts reporting late Tuesday, Cuomo had a commanding lead of 60 percent compared with 36 percent for Teachout.

Hochul beat Wu by a margin of 51 percent to 41 percent.

As CBS 2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, it was believed to be a foregone conclusion that Cuomo would secure the Democratic nomination for governor with Teachout largely unknown to many voters. What was not so certain was the margin, and who would end up as Cuomo's running mate.

Now, Cuomo will be spared the embarrassment of running with a lieutenant governor candidate not of his own choosing, Kramer reported.

Still, Teachout's presence on the ballot nonetheless served as a liberal referendum on the popular incumbent and highlights Cuomo's uneasy relationship with his party's base.

In casting his ballot earlier Tuesday, Cuomo was deliberately low-key – saying he would have no big election victory party, but rather would spend the night at his office doing work.

"I get paid by the hour. I go on overtime after 6 o'clock," Cuomo said.

It was a deliberate challenge to underplay the quixotic, underfunded challenge he fought by Teachout, Kramer reported.

Teachout, a Fordham University law professor and former director of the good-government Sunlight Foundation, criticized Cuomo for his support for business-friendly tax cuts, while saying he hadn't done enough to address government corruption and income inequality.

Cuomo, Teachout Face Off In New York Democratic Primary

Cuomo spent most of the primary race publicly ignoring Teachout, refusing multiple requests to debate her and holding few campaign events. But the governor defended himself after casting his ballot in Mount Kisco.

"My campaign I've been doing every day, 365 days a year," he told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell. "My campaign is delivering for the people of the state."

Political operatives say the standard progressive challenger vote is 20 percent plus or minus 5. With Teachout getting more than 30 percent, it indicated some of her supporters were casting a vote against the incumbent top dog in Albany, Kramer reported.

"The Democrats of this great state have spoken, and I will not be your next governor," Teachout said in conceding the race. "But the Democrats of this state have been heard."

Earlier in the race, Cuomo's campaign aides sought to kick Teachout off the ballot by challenging her New York state residency, a legal maneuver that many observers say backfired by giving Teachout's campaign greater exposure.

While she claimed endorsements from the Sierra Club, the National Organization for Women and New York's second largest state-employee union, Teachout remained unknown to most voters.

Cuomo's campaign won support from other unions and political heavyweights like Hillary Clinton and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Supporters defended Cuomo's liberal credentials throughout the campaign, noting his work to pass same-sex marriage and gun control measures while also working to cut state government dysfunction and boost the economy through business-friendly tax policies and initiatives designed to spur economic development in western New York.

"You need experience in government if you want to run the State of New York. It is a big enterprise and it's complicated," Cuomo told supporters Monday night.

On Monday night, Teachout continued to play up her role as an Albany outsider, hoping for what she called the "upset of the century."

Cuomo, Teachout Face Off In New York Democratic Primary

"Andrew Cuomo represents an old, tired politics, and there's so much excitement around Tim and my vision for the State of New York," Teachout said.

Teachout said the governor was scared and his refusal to debate sent a message to voters

"It's basically saying, 'I am not respecting you,'" she said.

The primary comes amid many questions over why Cuomo got rid of the Moreland Commission that was investigating Albany corruption. But the governor says he's hoping to win on his record of accomplishments.

"You remember where we were four years ago when we took office, New York was in a bad way," he said. "We had taxes going though the roof, working families were being strangled."

Taxes were also one of the biggest differences between Cuomo and Teachout. Cuomo has been trying to reduce taxes and the reputation of New York state as one of the highest-tax states in the nation.

Teachout called for a $10 billion tax hike – mostly on estates and the financial services industry – in order to finance improvements in education.

She said she was not afraid businesses will flee as a result.

"I actually think there's pretty good evidence to think that doesn't happen," Teachout said.

Also in the gubernatorial primary was Randy Credico, a onetime comedian turned political activist who has campaigned for a $15 minimum wage, lower subway fares, universal Medicare, free state college tuition, and marijuana legalization – among other policies. Credico also made a bid for mayor of New York City last year.

Credico was arrested last month in the Bronx and charged with menacing police officers, according to published reports. Credico claimed he was confronted by the offices for videotaping them talking to another man, but police claimed he yelled and cursed at them.

In the lieutenant governor contest, Wu had criticized Hochul as being too conservative. Hochul has vowed to work to represent western New York state and continue Cuomo's efforts to boost the region's economy.

"I want to congratulate Kathy Hochul on coming one step closer to becoming New York's first female Democratic Lieutenant Governor in 35 years," Cuomo said in a statement congratulating his running mate. "Throughout her career, Kathy has been a fighter for women, working families and Western New York, the place she's always called home. She will make an outstanding Lieutenant Governor and I couldn't be more proud to have her join our team."

The November ballot will feature Republican Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins.

Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss will serve as Astorino's running mate.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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