With 86 percent of precincts reporting, Democrat Eric Schneiderman has won the New York Attorney General's race over Republican candidate Dan Donovan with 55 percent of the vote.
In his victory speech, Schneiderman said he was "humbled and honored tonight and really kind of amazed to stand before you as the next Attorney General of the state of New York."
His victory keeps the Attorney General post in Democratic hands. The office is currently held by now Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo. Schneiderman called the victory significant for the party because in "a year when conservatives are sweeping America" they did not "sweep America in this race."
In the race for Attorney General, Schneiderman said his first priority was to restore the public's trust in New York government. He promised to better protect the state's environment by taking advantage of regional environmental alliances and to embark on industry-wide investigations to hault economic corruption. A national co-chair of Legislators Against Illegal Guns, Schneiderman's pledged to initiate a multi-state fight against illegal guns. He is a supporter of abortion rights and same-sex marriage.
In his victory speech, Schneiderman emphasized his commitment to "restore New York's faith in government," instructing his party to be the sharpest critic of "fraud, waste and abuse in government." He repeatedly declared that he had won on a platform of activism, big ideas and reform. "You know I'll stand up for underdogs. You know I'll stand up for justice," he beamed.
Schneiderman thanked his friends in the city council, state legislature and elected officials statewide, a reference to the political experience Dan Donovan criticized as entrenchment in Albany during the campaign.
Donovan had hoped his experience as Staten Island's District Attorney would propel him to state office. He advocated for moving military tribunals for terrorists away from New York City and for "civil confinement" to keep sex offenders in mental institutions longer than their statutory sentences. Donovan also wanted to crack down on Medicaid fraud and keep immigration reform laws in the hands of the federal government.
At Dan Donovan campaign headquarters in midtown Manhattan, disappointed supporters said they expected results to be closer but that time was not on their side. They said that had Donovan been better known, New York would have known that he was the better candidate.
In his concession speech, Donovan congratulated Schneiderman and his staff "on a great campaign." When his supporters fell silent, Donovan urged them, "We need him to succeed."