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Tenney clinches close, acrimonious 22nd Congressional District race

Payne Horning
WRVO News File Photo
Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) rejoices with her supporters after winning the race to replace retiring Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) in the 22nd Congressional District.

The 22nd District will remain in Republican hands after Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) won a close three-way race with 44 percent of the vote in unofficial returns.

Tenney was jubilant as she claimed victory Tuesday night, knowing that she will soon succeed the congressman she tried unsuccessfully to defeat two years ago. The embattled Tenney took a sigh of relief as she recounted what were acrimonious primary and general elections.

“I have not had an easy path," Tenney said. "I had to fight all the way to the finish and I think I rose to the challenge with my supporters behind me. It’s a great day for the people really because they won. It’s not my victory, it’s theirs.”

The battle to replace retiring Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) quickly became one of the most expensive congressional races in New York state as both Republican and Democratic groups eyed the district as a potential pickup for their parties. All three of the candidates lamented that intrusion and the negative ads it brought with it. Democratic Broome County Legislator Kim Myers, whose family business Dick’s Sporting Goods came under constant attack, said it corrupted the race with fear mongering. 

“When people are afraid they will believe anything and I guess maybe they believed the lies," Myers said. 

Independent Martin Babinec, who put more than $2 million of his own money into his campaign, came in a distant third place. Babinec said he will continue using his resources to help independent candidates.

The 22nd Congressional District includes all or part of eight counties, stretching from the Mohawk Valley to the Southern Tier.