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Cuomo-Hochul win primary, but challengers get surprising number of votes

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his running mate Kathy Hochul beat off a challenge from two law school professors in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. But, challenger Zephyr Teachout won over one-third of the vote, opening  a potential weakness for the incumbent governor among progressive voters.

Cuomo did not appear publicly after his victory, but instead issued a statement. In it, he congratulates his chosen running mate, former western New York Rep. Kathy Hochul for her win over Timothy Wu.  Cuomo also for the first time mentions his defeated opponent Zephyr Teachout by name, saying she and Wu ran a “spirited campaign” and credits them for “having the courage to make their voices heard.”

Teachout won the highest percentage of any challenger in over 40 years of primaries in the state, spoke to excited supporters.

“I will not be your next governor,” Teachout said. “But the Democrats of this state have been heard.”

The race now shifts to the general election, where Cuomo and Hochul face Republican candidate and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and his running mate Chris Moss.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.