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Tune into WAER this election season for comprehensive coverage of local and statewide races. It's the information you'll need to make educated decisions on the races that could have an impact on your life.

CNY Election Results Paint only Partial Picture of Voters' Choices

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Brad Klein/WAER News
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Election results in the Central New York area mirror those nationwide … some paint a clear picture while others remain blurred.  Voters cast their ballots for congressional candidates, as well as those for state senate and assembly seats, and other local officials. 

(Onondaga County Vote Totals click here)

In the 24th congressional district, John Katko held an almost 20% lead in votes cast through early voting and on election day.  The district includes Syracuse and Auburn. 

“The results tonight make clear that Central New Yorkers made a resounding choice in this election.”  Katko said in a release.  “I am honored and humbled to have once again earned the strong support of our community." 

Meanwhile Dana Balter did not concede the race and told voters that counting of mail in ballots was important.  She pledged to fight and hold leaders accountable whatever the final results.  

“After we’ve had some time to rest, we’ll start fighting again.  It won’t be in the context of an election but it will be int eh context of holding our electeds accountable, and making sure that they do the things they’ve promised us they’re going to do.” 

There are more absentee ballots outstanding than the margin of lead at present, though the size of Katko’s election day lead makes his return to congress likely.  He indicated to supporters that his campaign has prevailed.

In the 22nd District, Claudia Tenney holds the post-election day lead.  The republican trying to unseat incumbent Democrat Anthony Brindisi.  She holds a lead of about 10% among votes already counted.  She told supporters at a gathering last night that she almost didn’t run for this rematch of the 2018 race.

“This is a tough time in our nation right now.  Now is the time when we really need to stand strong.  Now is the time when we really need to fight because it doesn’t look like we’re taking back the house right now and socialism is on our doorstep.”

Brindisi urged voters to wait and see how tens of thousands of absentee ballots impact the race.

“What’s clear is that with over 68,000 absentee ballots requested, we’re in for a long night and likely a long couple of weeks.”

Last time around, Brindisi says the final result in the race wasn’t officially determined until almost Thanksgiving.

STATE LEGISLATURE RACES: SOME CANDIDATES DECLARE VICTORY, SOME WAIT

The most competitive race in Central New York is currently the battle for the 127th assembly district between Democratic incumbent Al Stirpe and former Cicero Town Supervisor Mark Venesky. As it stands, Venesky leads Stirpe by close to a thousand votes, pending absentee ballot counting.

Venesky says while he may not end up getting the result he wants, he considers the closeness of the race to be an accomplishment.

“We have not won this race. … It’s razor thin.  We have a lot of absentee ballots out there waiting to be counted.  I may not win this race and I know that, but we won a great victory (by being this close); my team won a great victory.”

Assemblyman Stirpe also acknowledges that the race may be far from done. In a statement to WAER, Stirpe says with more than 18,000 absentee ballots having been returned in his race, it would be prudent to let the votes be counted before anything is declared.

In other local assembly races, Democratic incumbent Pam Hunter has a 20%-point lead over Stephanie Jackson.  Assembly member Bill Magnarelli has a lead of 31 points over Republican Edward Weber in the 129th district. Republican John Lemondes leads Democrat Dia Carbajal by 22 points in the 126th district.  All of those are mathematically still alive, within the total of ballots to be counted, but unlikely to switch.

The wide open 50th district state Senate race between Angi Renna and John Mannion is still too close to call.  Renna has a 5-point lead, prior to absentee ballots being counted, and she seemed encouraged by the results.

“This is my first time being a candidate.  Some would say I was the underdog going in and so it speaks to what’s possible.”

In a release Mannion told voters that following a long campaign and an aggressive absentee ballot program, he’s confident that when the votes are counted he will have the privilege to serve as the next State Senator. 

In the area’s other state senate race, first term incumbent Democrat Rachel May’s bid for reelction is too close to call.  After election night her lead over GOP challenger Sam Rodgers was just a fraction of one-percent. 

“I’m confident of remaining ahead in the race,” May said in a release. “I look forward to the absentee process beginning next week.”

Rodgers also has his sights on the extended count.

“We’re headed into overtime,” said the former Syracuse University football player.

Onondaga County election officials will begin to count absentee ballots next week.  Surrounding counties, of which many offices encompass all or part, have their own absentee ballot counting rules.  It would be the end of next week before the close races are ultimately decided.

This story has been updated to correct the spelling of the name "Vanesky" to "Venesky".