United States Democratic Representative Anthony Brindisi admitted it was “time to close the book on this election,” hours after New York officials certified Republican Claudia Tenney’s landslide victory in of the country’s last indecisive run for Congress.
Brindisi’s statement came three days after a state judge ruled Tenney won the race for the 22nd Congressional District of central New York City by 109 votes. Brindisi said he congratulated Tenney and offered to make the transition as smooth as possible after several months of legal wrangling over the results.
Judge Scott DelConte on Friday ordered New York to certify the results immediately. State electoral council commissioners approved the results Monday in less than two minutes.
Tenney had been the district representative for one term, until she was beaten by Brindisi in 2018.
“Claudia looks forward to serving her constituents again as a duly elected representative to Congress,” campaign spokesperson Nick Stewart said in a statement.
DelConte’s decision came after spending three months reviewing ballot disputes and trying to resolve a series of issues related to vote tabulations. The counts changed as county election officials counted a flood of mail-in ballots and courts weighed in on disputed ballots that could be counted.
DelConte rejected an argument by Brindisi’s lawyers that certification of election results should be delayed until an appeals court has a chance to review the case. The judge said that even if the results do eventually change after litigation, New York could simply change its certification. The judge said only the United States House can order a new election or recount at this point.
“Unfortunately, we may never know how many legal voters were turned down or ballots not counted due to the incompetence of electoral councils, especially in Oneida County,” Brindisi said. , hoping that there will be an investigation into the “massive deprivation of the right to vote of voters.
Democrats control the House with 221 seats. With Tenney yet to be sworn in, Republicans held 210 seats after the death of U.S. Representative Ron Wright from Texas on Sunday, according to the House website.