UTICA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — With an apparent 123-vote lead, Republican Claudia Tenney has softly declared victory in the race to represent New York’s 22nd Congressional District.
A Tenney spokesperson writes, “Boards of Elections in all eight counties completed their court-ordered canvass yesterday. Republican candidate Claudia Tenney prevailed in that process. It’s time for Anthony Brindisi’s Washington operatives to accept the results and stop playing politics with the integrity of our elections.”
Tuesday, boards of elections in seven of eight counties that make up the district were ordered by State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte to certify election results.
Monday, the judge ordered Oneida County’s election commissioners to finish their work but stop just short of certification.
The delay in Oneida County was the judge’s way of pausing certification, admitting concern that complete certification might allow one of the candidates to be seated in Congress before a higher-level court can hear the case.
The campaigns will be back in court Friday to argue their positions about final certification.
Tuesday, the judge denied Brindisi’s request for a recount, implying his attorneys might be hypocritical. DelConte writes, “Not only did Brindisi not ask for a manual audit under Election Law 16-113 until yesterday, he previously argued that this Court has no authority to order that relief.”
In Monday’s court hearings, each county board of elections did an updated canvass of ballots that were ruled either valid or invalid by DelConte on Friday. The weeks of court hearings and rulings focused on about 1,100 absentee and affidavit ballots challenged by the campaigns after Election Day.
Friday’s ruling was a blow to Brindisi’s hopes that batches of dozen ballots, challenged by the campaigns during the initial canvass after Election Day, would be ultimately counted.
The Tenney campaign writes, “Court proceedings in the race began more than 90 days ago, and Claudia Tenney has led in the vote count every step of the way. The court’s review has been thorough, transparent, and fair to all parties. Ballots have been scrutinized and we are confident all legal votes have been counted.”
Luke Jackson, Brindisi for Congress spokesperson, released the following statement on Tuesday night:
“The voters of New York’s congressional district decide who represents them, not Claudia Tenney. With a margin between the two candidates of less than .04%, the courts must make sure the voters of New York’s 22nd congressional district receive a complete and fair counting of all lawful votes. We are pleased that the Supreme Court issued a temporary stay of Oneida County’s certification in order to ensure the legal system has a full opportunity to review the many issues in this election. We look forward to continuing the legal process and remain confident that once this is resolved, Anthony Brindisi will be declared the winner and returned to Congress to continue his important work for the voters of NY-22.”