Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Primary Voters Pick Best-Known Candidates for Congressional Seats in 22nd, 24th Districts

    The support of two of the most prominent women in New York politics helped Colleen Deacon secure the nomination for the 24th congressional district in Tuesday's primary.  She enjoyed endorsements by Hillary Clinton and Kirsten Gillibrand to boost her first-time candidacy among democrats.  

Deacon topped Eric Kingson and Steve Williams in the contest.  Kingson enjoyed attention late in the race when Bernie Sanders endorsed him and held an event in Syracuse with the candidate.  Deacon ran largely on issues such as equal rights, pay equity and women's health issues.  She drew 49% of the vote, while Kingson tallied 32% and Williams got 19%.  

Deacon will run against incumbent John Katko in the November election.  Katko is finishing up his first term in congress.  

Claudia Tenney won a narrow victory int eh 22nd congressional GOP primary.


  The race among three Republicans in the 22nd district proved to be a little tighter.  Claudia Tenney got 41% of the vote, Steve Wells finished second with  34% and George Phillips drew 25%.  

Tenney, due to the primary win,  replaces Richard Hanna on the republican ballot, after he announced his retirement effective at the end of the current term.

That leaves the race wide open, with political newcomer Kim Myers holding the democratic nomination.   

Tenney thanked supporters who helped her overcome a large spending deficit and opposition from more than just the other candidates.

Tenney is currently a state assembly member and ran unsuccessfully against Hanna for the GOP congressional nomination in 2014.  Wells and Phillips have not said if they would try and run for the seat as independents.  

They might not be likely to back her nomination, after the contentious campaign that drew in millions of dollars from Oneida Nation Leader Ray Halbritter, trying to stop Tenney from winning.  She credited the voters for not being swayed by that opposition campaigning.  

Both primary elections drew low turnout.  In the 24th district there are 140,000 registered democrats; only 12,000 voted - less than 9%.  Turnout was a little better in the 22nd district, with 155,000 republicans, where 22,000 voted.    

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.