Tenney to be Certified Winner of New York’s 22nd Congressional District Race, Judge Rules

February 6, 2021 by Dan McCue
Republican Claudia Tenney is challenging Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-Utica, in the November election in the 22nd Congressional District.

Republican Claudia Tenney will be certified as the winner of New York’s 22nd Congressional District race, a judge ruled Friday, ending a three-month ordeal in the only undecided House race in the country.

Despite the ruling, the legal saga is not over yet. Rep. Anthony Brindisi, the Democratic incumbent heading into the 2020 election, has said he will appeal the decision, perhaps even contesting the election results in the House of Representatives.

As of Friday, Tenney is ahead of Brindisi by 109 votes. She earned 156,098 votes to Brindisi’s 155,989. Tenney’s margin amounts to a .035 percent lead over her opponent.

In most states, that slim margin would trigger an automatic recount. But New York State did not adopt such a rule until last year, and it only went into effect on Jan. 1. Unfortunately for Brindisi, the new law does not include a provision making it apply retroactively.

In his ruling on Friday, State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte directed counties and the state elections board to certify the election, rejecting an effort by Brindisito keep the election unofficial until his appeal to a higher court concludes.

In ruling against Brindisi, DelConte argued that the Democrat did not provide enough evidence that certifying Tenney would cause “irreparable harm,” given that he still had a remedy at the federal level.

“I am shocked and surprised by this decision because of the countless errors and discrepancies that have occurred throughout this initial count,” Brindisi said in a statement Friday night. “I believe a full audit and hand recount is the only way to resolve this race. 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. We have to get it right. Because this is not a raffle, this is a congressional election. The law that took effect January 1 says we should abide by hand counts whenever the margin is 0.5% or less— it’s even closer right now. Let’s follow that rule, get this right for our constituents and count all the 325,000-plus votes. It’s shocking, right now, no one knows who actually won this race. My opponent and I deserve true clarity.”

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