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