Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand won a full six-year term Tuesday night, defeating Republican challenger Wendy Long in the race for Gillibrand's U.S. Senate seat.
According to AP numbers as of 4:45 a.m. Wednesday, with more than 97 percent of precincts reporting, Gillibrand has 4,151,099 votes (approximately 72 percent of the vote) to 1,529,011 votes (approximately 26.5 percent) for Long.
The race was New York's only statewide race on Election Day.
"Tonight is such an important night for the direction of our country," Gillibrand told supporters in her victory speech. "From the bottom of my heart, I can't thank you enough for the honor and the privilege of serving this state."
Following a week in which Gillibrand canceled campaign events to deal with storm recovery, Democrats collected money at the door of their state election-night headquarters in Midtown for hurricane relief, and Gillibrand focused on rebuilding and resiliency.
"While the road will be long, and the road will be hard, we will rebuild better and stronger, and I will stand with you every single step of the way," Gillibrand said.
Reflecting on the effects of the storm that devastated low-laying areas of New York City this past week, Gillibrand said the damage from Sandy "cuts to the bone." Seeing New Yorkers come together to assist their neighbors in Sandy's aftermath "reaffirms and deepens my core commitment to fight for your family as much as I do my own," she said.
At the New York State GOP headquarters in Midtown Tuesday night, Long was proud of her campaign.
"It was well worth it," she said. "I think we built a tremendous base that I or someone else can take advantage of in the future."
Gillibrand burst onto the national political scene in 2007 as a congresswoman for New York's 20th district.
In 2009, she became New York's junior senator when former Gov. David Paterson appointed her to replace Hillary Clinton after Clinton was selected to be President Barack Obama's Secretary of State.
In a 2010 special election, Gillibrand defeated Republican Joseph DioGuardi to retain her seat in the Senate.