(CN) - In the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states, New Hampshire was on its way to electing its first openly gay candidate to a U.S. House seat, a Latino Rhodes scholar took a contested house seat in New York, Elizabeth Warren easily held her Senate seat, Robert Menendez was also re-elected and Maine voted into office its first female governor – all as part of blue tide in the region.
In one of the country’s most hotly contested Congressional races, Democratic challenger Antonio Delgado closely defeated Republican incumbent Rep. John Faso to become the U.S. House representative for New York’s 19th Congressional District, being only the second Democrat to serve as the district’s House member since 1993. At the end of the night, Delgado received 49 percent of the vote, beating Faso by almost 3 percentage points.
Delgado, a Rhodes Scholar and Harvard Law School graduate who had a short stint as a hip-hop artist under the name “AD the Voice,” campaigned in one of the whitest districts in the country, at over 90 percent, focusing less on making the vote a referendum on President Donald Trump’s administration and more on fighting for universal health care for all, with a public option to allow anyone to sign up for health insurance coverage under Medicare.
While some voters voiced concerns that Delgado would not have their local interests at heart, having only recently moved to the district in 2017, other voters grew disillusioned with Faso after he voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Asked why he had voted for Delgado, Dimitrius, of Kingston replied, “Do I think there needs to be change? Yes.”
And in an extremely tight race in New York’s 22nd Congressional District, Democratic challenger Anthony J. Brindisi narrowly defeated the Republican incumbent Claudia Tenney, winning by less than a single percentage point. Tenney, a staunch supporter of President Trump, was seeking a second term in the House.
Echoing Delgado, Brindisi’s campaign focused more on healthcare, promising to fix the Affordable Care Act and keeping protections for pre-existing conditions.
Trump, who endorsed both Republican candidates on Twitter, handily won both districts in 2016, besting Hillary Clinton by a 15 percent margin in the 22nd and a 7 percent margin in the 19th.
Robert Menendez will serve a third term representing New Jersey, fending off Republicans to a crucial U.S. Senate seat, according to several projections Tuesday evening.
Menendez, 64, faced stiffer competition than expected after having faced 14 counts of bribery and corruption due to allegations he used his political influence to help an eye doctor with an $8.9 million Medicare billing dispute in exchange for luxury vacations, flights on the doctor’s private jet and campaign contributions.
The case initially led to a deadlocked jury and ultimately ended in a mistrial.
Despite his legal woes, Menendez handily won the primary earlier this year, more than doubling the votes of his competitor Lisa McCormick.
Voters at the polls in New Jersey on Tuesday did not seem enthused about Menendez or his competitor, former Celgene Corporation CEO Bob Hugin.
In the 11th District, former Navy pilot Mikie Sherrill (D) beat handily out six-term New Jersey Assemblyman Jay Webber (R) in a traditionally red district.