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Politics and Government

Mannion declares victory in 50th State Senate race, counting resumes in Onondaga County

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ELLEN ABBOTT/ANGI FOR STATE SENATE/FACEBOOK
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Democrat John Mannion is claiming victory in the 50th State Senate District race over Republican Angi Renna, who led by more than 7,000 votes on election night. Mannion took the lead on Monday by close to 2,300 votes. Onondaga County has resumed counting absentee ballots, after an outbreak of COVID-19 infections stopped the count, more than two weeks ago.

For decades, Republicans held the 50th State Senate District. In a statement, Mannion said he’s humbled and honored to serve as the district’s next representative and is looking forward to working with the Senate Democratic Majority. His win cements a Democratic supermajority in the Legislature.

In a statement, Republican Angi Renna extended her congratulations to Mannion, acknowledging it was a hard-fought campaign in the middle of a pandemic.

In November, 12 staffers at the Onondaga County Board of Elections tested positive for COVID-19, which stopped the absentee ballot count. On Monday, election staff counted more than 15,000 ballots, which is more than usual. Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny credited that to having fewer people in the rooms. All campaigns agreed to have only one operative each at the tables.

“So, you still have experienced observers at the tables,” Czarny said. “What you don’t have is some of the less experienced observers that may have been making some of the more egregious challenges where emotions got in the way, compared to what election law says.”

There are still about 16,000 absentee ballots that need to be counted in Onondaga County, which should be completed by Wednesday, with the results certified on Monday.

In the 22nd Congressional District race, Republican Claudia Tenney’s campaign said she is leading Democratic incumbent Anthony Brindisi by just 12 votes. This comes after all eight counties in the district completed their final count. But in a statement, Tenney's spokesman said the process is far from over. Hundreds of contested ballots have to be reviewed by the court. The number of absentee ballots in the race has helped Brindisi make up for a significant deficit on election night. He trailed Tenney by more than 28,000 votes.