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Tenney gains votes; Brindisi still up

With three more counties done counting absentee and affidavit ballots, incumbent Republican Claudia Tenney cut into Democratic Congressional candidate Anthony Brindisi’s lead over her, but by just 54 votes.

With Herkimer and Oswego counties having finished counting ballots Friday and Tioga on Monday, Brindisi now leads Tenney by 3,089 votes — still about double the gap he had after election night.

While two counties — Chenango and Oneida — have yet to finish counting absentee and affidavit votes, Brindisi’s campaign is claiming victory.

“The ballots counted this week confirm what we saw on election night,” said Ellen Foster, campaign manager for Brindisi, in a written statement. “Voters across the 22nd district wanted change, and they chose an independent voice who will work for them in Washington. Throughout the vote-counting process we’ve only expanded our lead, it’s clear that Anthony Brindisi has won a decisive victory.”

Tenney’s campaign has yet to release a statement.

After Broome and Madison counties finished counting votes Friday, Herkimer and Oswego eventually did the same. Tioga County finished Monday evening, with Chenango and Oneida still counting as of that time.

Brindisi received fewer votes than Tenney in Herkimer County election night, 7,792 to 9,787 respectively, but has won 84 more absentee and affidavit votes.

That’s twice, so far, he’s claimed more absentees than Tenney in a county he lost on election night. The first was Madison County, where Brindisi received 324 more absentees than Tenney.

Tenney cut into Brindisi’s lead, slightly, by winning more absentees in Oswego and Tioga counties — two of the five counties she won election night. She received 484 absentees to Brindisi’s 359 in Oswego, and 186 votes to Brindisi’s 173 in Tioga County, unofficially.

Even with the small gain and two more counties to finish tallying votes, Tenney’s chance of winning will not be easy.

Of the final two counties, Tenney won Chenango election night, but there are 1,158 absentees to be counted in the county.

Oneida County, with the largest population of the two, provides the best opportunity to gain a large number of votes. The exact number of absentees being counted in the county were not available. But Brindisi won Oneida County election night by almost 1,000 votes, and has yet to receive fewer absentees than Tenney in counties he’s won election night.

The two counties could finish counting votes this week.

Cortland County finished its count Wednesday. Brindisi received 612 absentee votes to Tenney’s 405. Cortland County was one of the counties Brindisi won election night by about 1,600 votes over Tenney — 8,597 to 6,970.

The counting follows the ballots being impounded at the Brindisi campaign’s request last week.

The race is one of the last four races in the House of Representatives to be decided. Democrats have picked up 37 seats and a majority in the 435-member house.

In total, Utica-based Brindisi, the Assembly member for the 119th District, received 117,931 votes against the 116,638 received by Tenney, of New Hartford — excluding absentee votes.

With the latest tally, the unofficial results stand at 123,755 to 120,666.

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