SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Rep. Anthony Brindisi’s (D-Utica) campaign said Wednesday he has taken the lead over Republican challenger Claudia Tenney in the race for New York’s 22nd Congressional District.
Brindisi trailed Tenney by more than 28,000 votes on election night, but did not concede, saying he was confident enough absentee ballots would swing his way to give him the win.
Over the last week, as absentee ballots were counted, Tenney’s lead shrunk. By the time all absentee ballots were counted in the district, which includes parts of eight counties across central New York, the Mohawk Valley and the Southern Tier, Tenney’s lead had shrunk to just a few hundred votes.
This week, elections officials in the districts have appeared virtually before a state Supreme Court judge to explain the status of challenged absentee ballots and affidavit ballots. On Tuesday, Judge Scott Del Conte ordered all eight counties to provide him with updated ballot counts.
According to WBNG in Binghamton, those counts appear to show Brindisi with a lead of just 12 votes. In a statement, Brindisi campaign spokesman Luke Jackson said they are confident Brindisi will be certified as the winner.
BREAKING: According to the vote counts I obtained, I can confirm @RepBrindisi now has 155435 votes, @claudiatenney has 155422 votes.
Almost unbelievably, Brindisi now leads Tenney by just 13 votes in #NY22 @WBNG12News
— Josh Rosenblatt (@JRosenblattTV) November 25, 2020
“Election results from the remaining counties in the district show Anthony Brindisi has now taken the lead. We are hopeful that once New York’s 22nd congressional district is certified, Representative Brindisi will be sworn in again to continue his bipartisan work on behalf of this district,” Jackson said. “As we’ve said from the start, once the election process is completed Anthony will be re-elected. Democracy might force us to wait sometimes, but voters’ faith in this process and our Republic should remain steadfast.”
Tenney’s campaign, meanwhile, called the process “flawed,” and said many ballots were cast “illegally,” and said the count is not correct.
“Governor Cuomo’s unfair, unwise, and unilateral rules changes and administrative burdens overwhelmed our voting system and created this utter dysfunction,” said campaign spokesman Sean Kennedy. “As a result, the law was not followed when ballots were challenged and tabulated in this election. The result remains far from resolved. Hundreds of ineligible ballots were illegally or improperly cast including votes by the dead, non-residents, or unregistered voters. Those ballots should not – and must not – be counted. The hearing in court has already established that the current tally includes invalid votes and that the process to review and count the massive amount of paper ballots is fractured. Today’s misleading and inaccurate tally is rife with errors and mistakes that must be rectified before this election is certified. It is far from final.”
Arguments over challenged ballots continue in Oswego County Court on Monday.