UTICA, N.Y. (AP) - Democrat Anthony Brindisi has defeated Republican U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney in a congressional race settled more than three weeks after Election Day.
The Associated Press called the 22nd Congressional District race shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday – declaring victory for Brindisi.
His victory in a district of dairy farms and former manufacturing towns came after an acrimonious contest with Tenney, who was seeking a second term.
Democrats complained when Tenney's staff sent out a memo claiming the family of her Italian-American opponent had mafia ties.
A strong supporter of gun ownership rights, Tenney also took criticism for saying in an interview that many people behind mass murders are Democrats.
Brindisi is a 39-year-old lawyer and state assemblyman who campaigned on calls for civility.
And although the Oneida County Board of Elections is still not reporting final numbers, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney released a statement officially conceding to Brindisi. Commissioners are working toward a Monday deadline to certify all results with the state.
A week after conceding the race in a radio interview, Tenney says:
"As the votes have been counted the last several weeks, it has become clear that while we remain on the right side of the issues and history, we came out on the wrong side of a very close race. Despite this setback, there is still a critical fight ahead for the heart and soul of this nation, and one which I will not give up. Serving Central New York in Congress has been a tremendous honor, I am proud of what we were able to accomplish for our area, and I am grateful to all the people who supported our campaign.
I wish Congressman-elect Anthony Brindisi the best and my office will work with him to ensure a smooth transition and good constituent services for the people of the 22nd District. We should acknowledge when Congressman-elect Brindisi does the right thing for this district, but hold him accountable for every vote he takes to advance a liberal agenda that doesn’t help our community."
Brindisi also released a statement touting the historic win and the hard work of campaign volunteers and supporters, saying:
“I am extremely proud of all the volunteers and supporters who helped make this historic win possible. Our community needs an independent voice who will fight for everyone, and I'm humbled to have the opportunity to do that in Congress. Now that the results are official, I'm looking forward to working with Representative Tenney to ensure a smooth transition on behalf of our constituents. This Congressional seat belongs to the people of Upstate New York. I'm excited to get to work putting their needs first.”
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