NEW YORK – Democrat Eliot Spitzer, who rose to international acclaim as the crime busting attorney general who cleaned up Wall Street, on Tuesday defeated Republican John Faso to become New York's first new governor in 12 years.
A statistical analysis of voter interviews conducted for The Associated Press by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International showed Spitzer easily defeating Faso.
Spitzer was headed toward one of the highest shares of a vote for governor in state history. He had almost 75 percent of the vote with just under 1 percent of precincts reporting. Faso had just under 25 percent of the early returns.
"Today was a victory not of one candidate or one party, but of all those irrepressible optimists who have hoped and dreamed of a resurgent New York, a New York that still exists as a symbol of creativity and ingenuity to all the world," Spitzer said in remarks he was scheduled to deliver. "A New York whose greatest days lie ahead."
"From here on out, we need a politics that binds us together, a politics that's forward-thinking, a politics that asks not, `What's in it for me?' but always `What's in it for us,"' Spitzer said in the text.
"This will be the true test of whether we rise or fall in the coming months and years," Spitzer said. "Because in the end, it is not simply a budget or a bill or an act of government that will pave the way towards progress and prosperity, but the people's belief that what happens in this state matters in their lives; that it matters to their children; and that it matters to our future."
Voters interviewed Tuesday often said they favored Spitzer for his crusading work as attorney general.
"I like how he took such an aggressive approach against corruption on Wall Street and went after people regardless of how powerful they were," said Al Smith, a mail carrier from Minoa, near Syracuse, who voted for Spitzer. "It gives me some hope he can maybe reform Albany."