With all but a few polling sites reporting, Morelle had a commanding lead over Republican Jim Maxwell. He pulled in roughly 58 percent of votes, while Maxwell hovered around 42 percent. The intense, hard-fought race likely contributed to heavy turnout county-wide.
At 8 p.m., with an hour left before polls closed, 59 percent of registered voters had cast a ballot, according to the county Board of Elections. By comparison, the 8 p.m. turnout figure was 43 percent in 2014 and 49 percent in 2010.
The Morelle-Maxwell race was just one of a several contests with statewide and national implications. Republicans and Democrats are fighting for control of the House of Representatives, and Morelle’s win means Democrats keep a seat they’ve held for a long time. Around 11 p.m., ABC News projected that Democrats will win control of the House.
In the 27th Congressional District, Democrat Nate McMurray conceded to embattled incumbent Republican Chris Collins Tuesday night but is now calling for a recount. The two candidates are less than 3,000 votes apart; that's around 1 percent of the votes cast in that race. Collins, faces criminal charges related to alleged insider trading.
Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand also held on to her seat in the US Senate, scoring a decisive victory over Republican Chele Farley, who has conceded the race.
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo was also elected to a third term; his margin of victory over Republican Marc Molinaro and three third-party challengers far exceeded recent poll numbers.
The GOP was fighting to keep control of the State Senate, while Democrats believed they had their best chance in a long time to flip the chamber to their control. By the end of Tuesday night, Democrats had won enough seats to have a firm majority in the chamber.
The power struggle played out in the 56th District race between incumbent Republican Joe Robach and Democratic challenger Jeremy Cooney, as well as the 55th District contest between incumbent Republican Rich Funke and Democratic challenger Jen Lunsford.
Funke held off a challenge from Lunsford but the unofficial results were close. Funke pulled in 50 percent of the vote, while Lunsford got 47 percent. The district starts in the eastern part of the City of Rochester and some of Monroe County’s eastern suburbs, and stretches down into Naples.
And Robach, who’s proven especially difficult for Democrats to defeat despite an enrollment advantage in the district, has been elected to another term. With most districts in, he had 54 percent of the vote while Cooney got about 44 percent.
In the Assembly:
- Incumbent Republican Mark Johns held off Democratic challenger Andrew Gilchrist in the 135th District race. The district covers the Webster, Penfield, and Perinton area.
- Incumbent Democrat Harry Bronson beat Republican challenger Patsy Iacovangelo. The district covers part of the City of Rochester and extends into Henrietta and Chili.
- Republican candidate Marjorie Byrnes prevailed in the 133rd Assembly District, which starts in Pittsford and continues south to Hornell in Steuben County. She faced a challenge from Democrat Barbara Baer; she defeated incumbent Republican Joe Errigo in a primary, though he remained on the Independence and Reform lines. Errigo is facing bribery and fraud charges.