Tenney concedes 22nd Congressional District race, Brindisi joins conservative Democrat coalition

Nov 29, 2018

The race for New York's 22nd Congressional District seat came to an end Wendesday, when Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) formally conceded to Democrat Anthony Brindisi. 

Brindisi led Tenney by 1,294 votes after election night, and his lead only grew as absentee ballots were counted. Brindisi held a 4,000 vote lead with only 1,881 votes left to be counted in Oneida County, making it mathematically impossible for Tenney win.

In a statement, Tenney said "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."

Tenney wished Brindisi luck in Congress, but also took one last jab at what she called Brindisi's "liberal agenda."

"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," Tenney said. "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."

Tenney spent much of her campaign trying to link Brindisi with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, despite Brindisi's pledge to not support Pelosi for House speaker. Earlier this month, Brindisi was one of 16 Democrats to sign a letter saying they would not vote for Pelosi. 

Brindisi, in a statement, said he's ready to get to work. 

"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," he said.

Meanwhile, Brindisi has joined the Blue Dog Coalition in Congress. Blue Dog Democrats are considered to be more conservative-leaning, and tend to vote more conservative on fiscal issues. 

The last Democrat to represent the Mohawk Valley in Congress, Mike Arcuri, was also a Blue Dog Democrat. He was first elected to Congress in 2006, and lost in 2010 to Republican Richard Hanna. 

Brindisi will be sworn in on January 3.