For New York governor, Lee Zeldin and Hochul will face off in the fall
Hello. It’s Wednesday. We follow two stories – the results of the New York primaries for governor and Ghislaine Maxwell’s 20-year prison sentence for serving as a facilitator for Jeffrey Epstein.
She withstood challenges from Democratic opponents to her left and right — Rep. Thomas Suozzi, who has made crime and public safety his top issues, and Jumaane Williams, the New York public attorney, who said that she failed to address issues such as soaring housing prices.
As my colleague Nicholas Fandos writes, Hochul’s victory set the stage for a potentially deadly fall campaign against Rep. Lee Zeldin, a conservative congressional ally of former President Donald Trump who defeated three other Republicans in of their primary. As warning lights flash for Democrats nationwide, Zeldin and his supporters hope they can capitalize on discontent over inflation and crime and win a statewide race in New York. York for the first time in 20 years.
The Democratic contest for lieutenant governor also followed Hochul’s path: His handpicked running mate, Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, survived a challenge from Ana María Archila, a progressive activist aligned with Williams and endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Diana Reyna, Suozzi’s foot racer, was on course to finish in third place.
For Hochul, who took office less than a year ago after Andrew Cuomo quit amid a sexual harassment scandal, winning the primary was a crucial step to winning a full term in November . She has plenty of cash at her disposal, having raised around $34 million in donations as of the end of last week.
She spent the final days of the campaign portraying herself as a protector of liberal values in the wake of landmark Supreme Court rulings on abortion rights and gun regulation. Hochul, the state’s first female governor, stood, symbolically, under a glass ceiling at a victory party in Manhattan. “To the women of New York,” she said, “this one’s for you.”
“We can’t and won’t let right-wing extremists set us back on all the decades of progress we’ve made here,” she added, “whether it’s a cheerleader of Trump running for governor of New York State or of Trump-appointed judges to the Supreme Court.
Zeldin defeated Andrew Giuliani, who had gained far-right support due to his ties to former President Trump, his former boss and his lineage as the son of former mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Zeldin also beat Rob Astorino, the party’s 2014 gubernatorial candidate, and Harry Wilson, a corporate turnaround specialist who spent more than $10 million of his own money on the race.
Expect a sunny day with a high near the mid-80s. In the evening, the weather will be mostly clear with temperatures around the 60s.
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING
Effective until Monday (Independence Day).
The latest news from New York
Maxwell sentenced to 20 years
Ghislaine Maxwell is the widely traveled former socialite who once dated presidents, princes, tycoons and tycoons – and who was convicted last year of sex trafficking for conspiring with Jeffrey Epstein to exploit and abuse of underage girls. On Tuesday, saying “the damage done to these young girls was incalculable”, Judge Alison Nathan sentenced Maxwell to 20 years in prison.
Nathan also imposed a $750,000 fine, noting that Epstein left Maxwell a $10 million bequest, money that one of Maxwell’s lawyers said she had not received. The disgraced financier was awaiting his own trial on sex trafficking charges when he hanged himself in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019, leaving his guilt forever unresolved.
Bobbi Sternheim, one of Maxwell’s lawyers, said Maxwell would appeal, adding that Maxwell had been “libeled” and “pilloried” and “tried and convicted in the court of public opinion”. She suggested jurors treated Maxwell as a stand-in for Epstein, who Sternheim said had escaped responsibility: “Smart and cunning to the bitter end, Jeffery Epstein let Ghislaine Maxwell carry the whole bag.”
The conviction served as the bookend to a grim case that shed light on a world where the halo of glamor hid the routine infliction of intimate, life-changing cruelty. The case against Maxwell showed how she and Epstein used wealth and status to exploit women and girls as young as 14. Prosecutors said she recruited them for him.
The judge said Maxwell “was not being punished in place of Epstein or as an agent for Epstein”, calling what Maxwell did “heinous and predatory”.
Maxwell’s British-accented voice has been heard for the first time since his arrest nearly two years ago. Standing at the desk in a blue prison smock, her ankles chained, she acknowledged “the pain and anguish” of the women who had addressed the court during the sentencing hearing.
But she has refrained from apologizing or taking responsibility for the crimes for which she was convicted.
Understanding the Ghislaine Maxwell affair
A confidant of Epstein. Ghislaine Maxwell, once a fixture on the New York social scene, was a longtime companion of Jeffrey Epstein, who took his own life after he was arrested for sex trafficking in 2019. In 2021, she was convicted of conspiring with Mr. Epstein to sexually exploit and abuse underage girls.
“It’s the biggest regret of my life to have met Jeffrey Epstein,” she said. “Jeffrey Epstein should have been here before all of you.”
But he was not. Nor were there others who had been in his orbit, among them Prince Andrew, who not only settled a lawsuit with one of Maxwell’s accusers, but was stripped of the title “His Highness Royale” and his honorary military titles. Andrew has been largely banned from public life since November 2019, when he told a BBC interviewer he had never met the accuser, Virginia Giuffre. The amount he paid her to settle the lawsuit was not disclosed.
Juror 50’s failure to disclose childhood sexual abuse — a shortcoming that surfaced in news reports after Maxwell’s conviction — could feature in Maxwell’s appeal. His attorneys requested a new trial on the grounds that he had been denied a fair and impartial jury. Judge Nathan declined to overturn the verdict, saying that even if juror 50 had been available and the defense had decided to exclude him while the jury was still being selected, they would not have granted the challenge.
The first time I met my neighbor from Brooklyn, he was sitting outside with a friend, cigar in hand, on a warm July evening. Beach chairs on the sidewalk. Tank top under an unbuttoned buttonhole. Sweat on a bald head.
“Man, how can I have so much fun?” I asked him.
“It’s easy,” he said, a missing tooth in his smile. “Be a New Yorker.”
We’ve since become friends, the kind who stops and talks long enough – him in his Bronx accent – for me to know he’s divorced, often in love, and works as a clerk. office. He is annoyed by the neighborhood rats and hires a friend to plant his front yard every spring.
One morning he told me that his cat, Fidel, had died. Fidel was loved; I have pictures of him posing on various steps around the neighborhood. My neighbor didn’t look sad when he told me what had happened, but his animated gestures seemed meant to hide the loss he felt.
That night, a guy who hangs out at the nearby bodega came over with a box of mangoes. He knocked on my neighbor’s door. When he came out, the guy nodded and opened the box.
A little kitten stuck its head out.
— Laura Buccieri
Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Submit your submissions here and read more Metropolitan Diary here.