With 12-vote lead, Tedisco preps for Congress

Jim Tedisco says he’s so confident he has been elected to Congress that he is leaving his leadership post in the state Assembly and beginning the transition to Congress.

In the face of a reported no-confidence vote, though, it looks like he might not have had a choice.

Tedisco leads Tuesday’s special election for Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election Sunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Suburban moms are going to decide the 2020 election MORE’s (D-N.Y.) former House seat by 12 votes, and 6,000 absentee ballots remain uncounted. But Tedisco sought to convey his assuredness that he will eventually be elected by taking the unusual step of resigning his post as minority leader.

He is not going as far as to vacate his assembly seat completely, saying he will continue to serve constituents until his victory becomes official.

"For the better part of three years, it has been my privilege, my honor, to have served as leader of what I believe are the best, the brightest, the hardest-working public servants in all of New York state: the men and women of our Assembly Republican Conference,” Tedisco said in a statement. “I will continue to strongly support the conference as a member of Congress.”

Tedisco's exit from leadership comes as the Albany Times-Union reported Friday that he was facing a vote of no confidence from his conference. The paper cited anonymous state GOP sources who said they were content to let Tedisco stay in leadership during his brief six- week campaign, but wanted to move on now that no end is in sight.

There was no immediate response from Democrat Scott Murphy’s campaign Friday afternoon.

Murphy led the race by 65 votes after Election Day, but mandatory recanvassing has swung the race narrowly in Tedisco’s favor.

Absentee ballots will begin to be counted as early as Tuesday, but can be received as late as April 13. From there, a recount and court challenges could drag the result out for months.

Should such a situation occur, it might benefit Tedisco to no longer have leadership responsibilities.