In no surprise, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) easily defeated Republican challenger Wendy Long on Election Night to help Democrats keep control of the Senate.
With nearly all New York precincts reporting, Gillibrand captured 72 percent of the vote to Long’s 26 percent, according to preliminary results from the Associated Press.
In her acceptance speech, Gillibrand pointed out the historic nature of her race with Long, a 52-year-old attorney.
“It’s the first campaign in our state where two women were running for the U.S. Senate,” Gillibrand told supporters during a victory speech in Manhattan, the Rochester Democrat and Cronicle reported. “I can’t thank you enough for your vote, for your confidence and for your willingness to allow me to serve this great state for a six-year term.”
She also spoke of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
"As we stand here this evening, our state is still in great crisis," she said, according to the New York Daily News. "The enormity of the damage has left our families struggling for basic human needs."
The 2012 election was Gillibrand’s second Senate race in two years.
A former congresswoman, Gillibrand was selected by then-New York Gov. David Paterson to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton after she became U.S. Secretary of Seat.
An election was held in 2010 for the remainder of Clinton’s term, followed by Tuesday’s contest.
Gillibrand was gracious to her supporters in a brief message on her Facebook page.
“Thank you, New York! I'm so honored you've voted for me to represent you in the U.S. Senate for 6 more years!,” the incumbent wrote.
Gillibrand was heavily favored to defeat Long, who failed to gain traction, since the race began.
The 52-year-old attorney beat out two other contenders, including Congressman Bob Turner, in the Republican primary for the seat.
The incumbent improved upon her numbers from her 2010 race with former Congressman Joe DioGuardi, when she won with 63 percent of the vote, according to the Democrat and Chronicle.
Because she was not expected to face a heavy challenger, Gillibrand helped raise money for other candidates across the country who had tougher races. She also donated some of her $15.4 million war chest to those candidates.
The senator may be a contender to head the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm that helps recruit candidates and decide where to spend money, the Democrat and Chronicle reported.