Carl Paladino Trounces Rick Lazio In New York; Charlie Rangel Fights Off Primary Challengers

Sep 15, 2010 12:11am

ABC News' Michael Falcone reports: Buffalo lawyer and businessman Carl Paladino scored a towering victory on Tuesday night over former GOP Congressman Rick Lazio in New York's Republican primary for governor.

Paladino won 64 percent of the vote compared to 36 percent for Lazio with nearly 70 percent of precincts reporting. The Tea Party-supported Paladino will go on to face state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is widely viewed as the favorite in the general election.
 
Lazio, who lost to Hillary Clinton in the 2000 New York Senate race, had been the early leader in the race but the more conservative — and often colorful — Paladino surged in the polls, pronouncing himself "mad as hell" and promising to "take a baseball bat" to the state capitol in Albany.

As ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports, Paladino attracted controversy after e-mail messages he sent that contained pornographic material and jokes about President Obama surfaced. During the campaign Paladino also suggested converting some state prisons into dormitories for welfare recipients.

Elsewhere in New York, Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-NY, who has been charged with multiple violations of House ethics rules, won his primary, battling back challenges from a crowded field of fellow Democrats.

Rangel was ahead of his closest competitor Adam Clayton Powell IV, a state legislator with a well-known political lineage in New York, by a 52 percent to 25 percent margin with nearly 70 percent of precincts reporting.

The 20-term congressman from Harlem called the race his "final judgment." In July the House Ethics Committee hit Rangel with 13 counts of ethics violations. Rangel is awaiting a trail in the Committee, but has insisted that its findings were "deeply flawed."

In the state’s hotly contested Democratic primary in the 14th Congressional district, which includes Manhattan's East Side and parts of Queens, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, was cruising to victory over challenger Reshma Saujani, a former Wall Street lawyer.

Maloney was leading Saujani 80 percent to 20 percent late Tuesday night.

Despite her apparent loss, it may not be the last political stand for the 34-year-old Saujani who ran a feisty campaign against Maloney. Saujani has promised to run again for the seat two years from now.

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