By BRENNEN JOHNSON
Sen. Charles Schumer easily won victory Tuesday night in his reelection bid against Republican challenger Wendy Long but fell short of his goal to become the powerful majority leader of the Senate.
Schumer won some 70 percent of the vote.
“Tonight I am humbled by the trust that my fellow New Yorkers have put in me,” Schumer said as he was on his way to taking some 70 percent of the vote, a landslide. As he addressed Democrats on Tuesday night, he noted the chance that he could become Senate majority leader, and pledged to work hard for his home state.
But Democrats, who had hoped that a victory in the presidential race would sweep their candidates into office in close Senate race, saw their hopes dashed on that front as well. Still, Schumer is expected to be the minority leader of the Democrats in the Senate, which will put him at odds with another victorious New Yorker: President-elect Donald J. Trump.
Running against her heavily favored opponent, Long took advantage of their lone debate to fire remarks pertaining to ethics at Schumer and to needle him for his lack of interest in the FBI’s most recent review of Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Long, a Manhattan attorney, asserted that Schumer failed to do so because of conflict of interest in that the emails were found on the laptop computer of his old friend and protégé, former Rep. Anthony Weiner.
Schumer declared in his opening statement that he’ll return jobs to New York State such as those he took credit for at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics in Rochester.
He said he understood his fellow New Yorkers’ hopes for economic stability since his father, an exterminator, and his mother, a housewife, struggled when he was growing up. Schumer said he planned to fight economic stagnation by raising the minimum wage and discussed the ways he’s displayed his loyalty to the people he serves in time of crisis.
“Whether it’s 9/11 or downstate, a horrible snow storm in Buffalo upstate, the floods in Binghamton,” Schumer said. “I’m always there for New Yorkers.”
Their debate also focused on FBI Director James Comey over his decision to announce that agents were reviewing a new round of emails to see if they were connected to Clinton’s private server.
The debate at Union College took place before Comey announced that his review determined there was no need to reopen the investigation of Clinton that he closed last July.
“Mr. Comey, first, ought to make them public and second, owes not only Secretary Clinton but the American people an explanation for what appears to be an appalling act,” he said.
Long disagreed. “When something like that comes to light, I think it’s the duty of the prosecutor to evaluate it,” Long said. “So, I disagree that it should be ignored just because we are further down the road.”