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Williams declares victory in 22nd Congressional District race

Democrat Francis Conole, left, and Republican Brandon Williams will face off in November for the newly redrawn 22nd Congressional District seat
Conole/Williams campaigns
Democrat Francis Conole, left, and Republican Brandon Williams, right

Republican Brandon Williams declared victory over Democrat Francis Conole early Wednesday in the race for central New York's 22nd Congressional District.

Ellen Abbott
Brandon Williams speaks early Wednesday after declaring victory in the race for the 22nd Congressional District

Williams spoke to a crowd of about 50 supporters just after 2 a.m. Wednesday, saying he was told he had enough votes to win.
"The indication we have is that we've won by about 4,000 votes," Williams told the crowd.

The vote totals were delayed after the Oneida County Board of Elections had trouble uploading vote totals to its website.

Jessica Cain
Democrat Francis Conole speaks to supporters in Syracuse early Wednesday morning

Conole led for most of the night Tuesday, but once Oneida County's vote totals started to trickle in, Williams closed in and took the lead.

Conole addressed supporters shortly before midnight, saying the race was too close to call.

"Obviously we would rather be celebrating tonight but it is absolutely critical that every vote is counted," Conole said.

Conole said making sure every vote is counted is fundamental to protecting democracy.

In a statement early Wednesday, Conole did not concede, saying there were still "thousands of absentee and affidavit ballots to be counted."

"This race is too close to call and we need to ensure that every Central New Yorker's voice is heard and their ballot is counted," Conole said in a statement. "This is a fundamental part of our democracy, and we look forward to it being carried out in the coming days. The Board of Elections staff works tirelessly to ensure this is done in a transparent process, and we should let them finish their jobs."

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.
Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
Jason has served as WRVO's news director in some capacity since August 2017. As news director, Jason produces hourly newscasts, and helps direct local news coverage and special programming. Before that, Jason hosted Morning Edition on WRVO from 2009-2019. Jason came to WRVO in January of 2008 as a producer/reporter. Before that, he spent two years as an anchor/reporter at WSYR Radio in Syracuse.