September 15, 2010

End Of The Line For Grad's Governor Race

Tonight marked the end of the line for alumnus Rick Lazio '80, who ran against Carl Paladino for the Republican nomination for New York State governor. Polls closed at 9 PM and Paladino secured a lead of about 35% throughout the night. At around 11:10 PM, AP reported that the race was being called in favor of Paladino. At the time, 56% of polls were reporting. Paladino had 65% of the vote, while Lazio had 35%.

In his concession speech, given at around 11:30 PM, Lazio thanked his staff and supporters and claimed that he will "embrace" many of Paladino's platforms. "We wish we had a different outcome, but we are proud of the quality of the campaign," he said, adding, "There's a lot of work yet to be done. Count on me to be part of that."

Lazio first announced his intention to run exactly one year ago yesterday. His campaign took a new direction this summer when he became one of the most vocal opponents of the Cordoba House, also known as the "Ground Zero Mosque." In a statement responding to President Obama's message about the project, Lazio said, "This is not an issue of religion, but one of safety and security through transparency." He ran a vocal campaign that made use of social media and frequently criticized the Democrat nominee, Andrew Cuomo.

"If we learned anything tonight, it's that New Yorkers are mad as well, and we're not going to take it anymore," Paladino wrote in his victory speech, quoting the memorable line from the film Network that he adopted as a campaign slogan. "I want to commend Rick Lazio for running a clean campaign and ask him to join us," Paladino adds.

George Pataki served as New York's last had a Republican governor from 1995 to 2006.

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Image via Lazio on Flickr.