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Maffei claims victory, Buerkle not conceding 24th District race

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle indicated she is still not conceding her race to represent central New York's 24th congressional district, despite trailing by about 4 percent to Democrat Dan Maffei.

The Associated Press called the race for Maffei Tuesday night.

But Buerkle, a first-term Republican from Onondaga Hill did not admit defeat last night. She is maintaining her line that absentee ballots still need to be counted.

Maffei told his supporters shortly after midnight last night he was confident that when all the votes were counted, he would be victorious.

With about 99 percent of ballots counted, Maffei was leading Buerkle 48 percent to 44 percent. Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum has about 8 percent.

There are still about 20,000 absentee ballots that have not yet been counted, and Buerkle's statement indicated her campaign expects a portion of those to come from members of the military.

Buerkle's campaign issued this statement this morning:

In 2010, we were trailing on election night, only to see more votes come in and the outcome changed. With so many ballots still to be recorded, it is important that we make sure there is an accurate counting of all votes. Our right to vote has been bought and paid for by the men and women of our armed services, and we owe it to all who have paid the ultimate price to count these ballots and allow the Democratic process to run its course.

The Maffei campaign issued its own statement this afternoon thanking central New Yorkers for electing him again. It reads:

I am honored that the people of Central New York have elected me to represent them in Congress. We have won an important victory for Central New York’s middle class. I am looking forward to working to fix our economy, create jobs, and rebuild our middle class. I would like to thank the voters, and all of our supporters who invested their time and energy in our campaign. This victory belongs to them.