SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Democrat Francis Conole has conceded the race for congress in New York’s 22nd District, offering his congratulations to Republican Brandon Williams.

Conole’s concession came within hours of Onondaga County’s Board of Elections counting absentee and affidavit ballots and finalizing vote totals.

Williams leads by about 3,000 votes as of Wednesday night. More ballots will be counted in Oneida and Madison Counties, where Williams performed well.

Monday, The Associated Press and ABC News declared Williams the winner.

Williams spent the week in Washington for House freshman orientation.

Conole was never able to make up the lead Williams amassed from Election Day results.

Conole released the following statement Wednesday:

With all the votes counted, I called Brandon Williams to congratulate him on his hard-fought victory, thank his family for their sacrifice, and wish him all the best in Congress representing the people of Central New York. While we offered voters a sharp contrast on our vision for this country and for Central New York, Brandon and I share a background of service and I appreciate his commitment to continuing to serve our country. 

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank my family, friends, volunteers, committee members, members of Indivisible, and everyone who supported our campaign. This past year has not been easy, and while the election results might not have gone the way we hoped, we still have so much to be proud of. Our campaign focused on fighting for working people with common sense solutions, protecting our democracy and foundational freedoms, and moving our country forward together. We fought through multiple iterations of redistricting and a challenging primary running alongside incredible Americans. You’ve supported our campaign every step of the way. 

I made the decision to take on this difficult journey because I believe our country is worth fighting for. Our country and community continue to face great opportunities and a multitude of crises. I continue to believe that if we are going to meet these challenges, we’re going to have to do it together. That has been the central message of our campaign and will continue to be my central message as I find other ways to serve our community and country. 

For all those who have been engaged in the work of building a country and community that is more just, more equal, more caring, and more prosperous for everyone – don’t stop. Our country needs you now more than ever. 

From the bottom of my heart — thank you.

Francis Conole