New York Rep. Tim Bishop (D) again added to his lead as counting continued in the undecided 1st district race Thursday.

After 223 more absentee ballots were counted at the Suffolk County Board of Elections, Bishop added 18 votes to his total and now leads Republican Randy Altschuler by 277.

According to a spokesman for Altschuler, the deficit is 269 votes.

Still, close to 1,500 affidavit and absentee ballot challenges are still being considered.  

Lawyers for the candidates, election commissioners and state Supreme Court Judge Peter Mayer are set to meet again Friday to consider 70 more challenges.

After Friday's hearing, the judge won't hear challenges again until next Wednesday. That's when Altschuler's camp said it expects its challenges to some 700 ballots based on residency and handwriting to be heard.