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Democrat Brindisi concedes to Tenney in contested race for New York House seat

Democrat Brindisi concedes to Tenney in contested race for New York House seat
© Greg Nash

Former Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D) conceded to Republican Claudia Tenney on Monday after a drawn-out race for New York's 22nd District that reached the state Supreme Court. 

Brindisi congratulated Tenney for winning the race after the state Supreme Court ordered counties and state election boards to certify her as the winner Friday. He called it the "honor of a lifetime serving my hometown, the place I grew up and am raising my family."

“I hope that she will be a Representative for all the people of this district, not just those that agree with her point of view, and work with members of both parties to heal the deep divisions that exist in our Country,” he said. 

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The highly contested race became a legal battle amid accusations against local elections boards over their handling of the 2020 election, including Oneida County’s failure to process more than 2,400 voter applications in time. 

But New York’s Supreme Court ruled on Friday that “every single valid vote that was cast in New York’s 22nd Congressional District has been accounted for, and counted,” signifying Tenney, who leads by 109 votes, as the victor.

Brindisi had initially called for a recount and audit and threatened to potentially appeal the ruling or to challenge the election results to the House.

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"I believe a full audit and hand recount is the only way to resolve this race,” he said earlier. “With the margin so thin, the ever-changing tally, and the countless errors that have occurred arriving at today’s final number we can’t afford to wonder here.”

In his Monday statement, the New York representative said the elections process was "riddled with errors, inconsistencies and systematic violations of state and federal election laws."

"My one disappointment is that the Court did not see fit to grant us a recount," he said on Monday. "Sadly, we must never know how many legal voters were turned away at the polls or ballots not counted due to the ineptitude of the Boards of Election, especially in Oneida County."

He added, "It is time to close the book on this election and focus on building a better community and more united Country for our children."

Tenney’s certification as a representative further dwindles the Democratic majority in the House for the 117th Congress to 221-212. The Republican had previously won the seat in 2016 before losing to Brindisi in 2018.

"I’m honored to have won this race,” she said after the court ruling. “It was a hard-fought campaign and I thank Anthony Brindisi for his service.”