House races

N.Y. Democrat wins reelection, bringing House races to a close

Republican Randy Altschuler conceded to Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday, bringing the last undecided House race to a conclusion.  

“After consulting with my family and campaign staff, I am ending my campaign and offering congratulations to Congressman Tim Bishop on his victory,” Altschuler said in a statement. 

“This was a very close election, and I want to thank everyone who was involved. Let me assure each and every one of my supporters, including my volunteers, donors and campaign staff, that your hard work, friendship and generosity will never be forgotten.”

The concession by Altschuler means the GOP gained a net total of 63 House seats in November.  

Altschuler said he could have asked for a recount of the ballots to be performed by hand, but opted against it.

“I will not support such an action, as I feel its cost will place an unnecessary burden on the taxpayers of Suffolk County,” he said.

Bishop told reporters he received a “gracious” call Wednesday from Altschuler. “I thank him for that,” Bishop said.

Bishop said about 40 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, and that his margin of victory will be around 500 to 600 votes. “This clearly makes the case that every vote counts,” he said. 

Alschuler’s camp had “residency concerns” about more than 750 voters whose absentee ballots it challenged, believing those votes were cast by part-time residents of the 1st district who may have a second residence elsewhere. Those challenges were set to be heard by State Supreme Court Justice Peter Mayer at the Suffolk County Board of Elections on Wednesday, but Altschuler conceded before the hearing.

The race was marked by a seesaw vote count. 

Bishop had a 3,461-vote lead on Election Day but that turned into about a 350-vote advantage for the Republican. The subsequent reversal was a result of “human error” — in the days after the election, Suffolk County recanvassed 3 percent of its voting machines while tallying absentee and affidavit ballots. Both campaigns lodged ballots challenges, which delayed the final result of the vote.

On Wednesday, Bishop praised local elections officials who were blamed for the inaccurate Election Day vote count.

“I was very pleased that the count has gone the way it has,” he said during a midday conference call.

Bishop brushed aside rumors that some of his supporters had voted in more than one congressional district. He said there was only one individual confirmed to have done that.

“I’ll guarantee you, that if there were more than one, we would have heard about it,” he said

—Updated at 9:58 a.m. and 12:29 p.m.

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