Hillary Clinton Wins N.Y. Senate Race

ByABC News
November 7, 2000, 4:43 PM

N E W   Y O R K, Nov. 7 -- Hillary Rodham Clinton tonight became the first presidents wife to win elected office, defeating Republican Rep. Rick Lazio in the most expensive, highest-profile Senate race in American history.

Shortly after 11 p.m. ET, Mrs. Clinton took to the stage in the packed ballroom of the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan to address a cheering crowd of 2,000 supporters.

I just wanna say from the bottom of my heart: Thank you New York! she said, drawing wild applause.

At the victorious first ladys side were her husband, President Clinton, daughter Chelsea, Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, and the man she is replacing, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Mrs. Clinton poked fun at her campaign-trail wardrobe and the wild nature of the race, which saw her original opponent, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani withdraw amid a prostate cancer diagnosis and marital difficulties.

Sixty-two counties, 16 months, three debates, two opponents and six blackpantsuits later, she said, here we are!

Lazio told his supporters he had phoned Mrs. Clinton to congratulate her on her victory and called for unity among New Yorkers.

Its time for us to hold our heads up high and to unify our state and to stand together, the congressman said during his concession speech.

No matter which presidential candidate Republican George W. Bush or Democrat Al Gore lays claim to the White House, the Clinton era in politics will live on when the presidents wife is sworn in as the junior senator from New York next year.

She won this election, not because she was first lady, but because she worked hard, Schumer said. She won this election the old-fashioned way: She earned it.

Her supporters were equally thrilled with the victory.

As a New Yorker, Im proud of her because I think she represents the spirit of New York, said Judy Farrell, 42, a Bronx resident. You can come from anywhere in the country or the world and make it here shell represent us well in the Senate.