BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The heated battle in the Republican race for governor came to a close Tuesday when voters cast their ballots in the primary election.
Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino declared victory in the GOP primary over party backed candidate Rick Lazio.
Paladino carried 62 percent of the vote to Lazio's 38 percent with absentee ballots yet to be counted.
Paladino had closed the gap in the polls heading into Tuesday's primary after trailing Lazio early by 20 points. That momentum carried through election night, pushing Paladino to an upset by a faily large margin.
At his victory celebration Tuesday night, Paladino's campaign team began to hand out hard hats to supporters as they prepared to 'rebuild New York.'
Paladino will now face Democrat Andrew Cuomo in the November general election for governor.