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Molinaro wins battleground 19th Congressional District race

KT Kanazawich
Republican Marc Molinaro celebrates early Wednesday after claiming victory in the race for New York's 19th Congressional District

Republican Marc Molinaro narrowly defeated Democrat Josh Riley in the battleground 19th Congressional District race Tuesday.

Molinaro garnered just over 50 percent of the vote, a lead of more than 6,000 votes, according to election night data posted by the New York State Board of Elections.

Molinaro carried Broome County, the largest population center in the newly redrawn district. Solid turnout in other Republican-leaning counties like Chenango and Sullivan helped propel Molinaro in front of Riley who carried heavily Democratic Tompkins County.

“The people of upstate New York, they want their voices heard. We want a government that respects us and one that will work to protect us and together we will deliver that for the people of the 19th District,” Molinaro said addressing Republicans gathered to watch returns in the City of Binghamton.

Riley refused to concede the race Tuesday night, saying he was waiting for remaining absentee and affidavit ballots to be counted.

“We understand that there are an unknown number of absentee ballots to be counted and affidavit ballots to be processed. We want to be sure every voice is heard, and we are going to do that,” Riley’s campaign wrote in a statement shortly after midnight.

The newly drawn 19th Congressional District was one of the most competitive House races in the country. Outside groups like super PACs spent over $13 million in the district according to Federal Elections Commission data compiled by OpenSecrets.