Former Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) conceded Monday to his Republican challenger, former Rep. Claudia Tenney, ending a month’s long battle over the last unresolved congressional race.

This means the GOP has won the final House race.  The abrupt conclusion comes as somewhat of a surprise.  After months of tabulation, New York State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte last week ordered all eight counties in the upstate district to certify their results showing Tenney won the race by 109 votes.  Brindisi was expected to appeal, but on Monday said he would not.

“it is time to close the book on this election and focus on building a better community and more united Country for our children,” he said in a statement.  He congratulated Tenney and vowed to make the transition process as smooth as possible.

The race was a prolonged fiasco that revealed the shortcomings of New York’s decentralized election system, which relies heavily on local boards of elections.  After leading by some 28,000 votes on election night before absentee ballots rolled in, saw her lead drop to fewer than 50 votes.

Brindisi called Tenney just hours after the state certified the election at noon on Monday.  He said he would drop his legal appeals and end his call for a hand recount of the more than 300,000 ballots cast.  His team said the campaign does not anticipate taking any further action, despite describing the process as flawed.

Unfortunately, this election and counting process was riddled with errors, inconsistencies and systematic violations of state and federal election laws.  My one disappointment is that the Court did not see fit to grant us a recount,” he said. 

“Sadly, we may never know how many legal voters were turned away at the polls or ballots not counted due to the ineptitude of the Boards of Election, especially in Oneida County.  My hope is some authority steps in and investigates the massive disenfranchisement of voters that took place during this election.”

The rematch was among the most hotly contested of the 2020 cycle and saw millions in outside spending from both parties.  The district spans Central New York and includes the cities of Utica and Binghamton.  Democrats will control redistricting in the state and could attempt to craft a seat more favorable to Brindisi, should he choose to run again.

Tenney’s win brings the GOP to a net gain of a dozen seats.  They are just five away from reclaiming the majority in 2022.  Another bright spot for Republicans is Tenney is the 20th GOP woman elected in 2020.

Tenney first won the seat in 2016, replacing the now late Republican Rep. Richard Hanna.  Brindisi, a moderate Democrat, ousted Tenne in 2018, winning a district President Donald Trump carried by 16 points in his first election.

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