GOP, Dems, Greens all Claim Election Day Victories in CNY; Some Races Still Contested

Nov 7, 2018

Congressman John Katko will serve a third term as New York’s representative from the 24th district after he defeated Democratic challenger Dana Balter on election night. Katko says he won’t be changing anything about the way he governs, even though Democrats now control the House.

“The House flipped tonight. Ok so I’m going to be in a minority, but that doesn’t change a thing about how I am going to act, alright? Since the moment I went into Congress, I said I was going to work in a bipartisan manner, and I’m going to continue to do that.“

Dana Balter, the Democratic candidate for the 24th congressional district in New York delivers a speech at the Onondoga County Democratic Committee's midterm election watch party.
Credit Aaron Kassman/WAER News

Balter says that although her campaign is over, the movement to restore faith in democracy will continue. In her concession speech she reflected on her campaign and tried to energize her supporters.

To work together in partnership to usher in an era of dignity, strength, security, and prosperity for all of us. We will succeed because we will do it together.”

In his acceptance speech Katko credited Balter for running a good campaign and for being a challenging opponent.  He also says even though the House flipped to blue last night, he still remains committed to reaching across the aisle in a bi-partisan fashion.  Katko took the race 52%-46% over Balter.

In the 22nd District, Democratic challenger Anthony Brindisi declared victory over incumbent Claudia Tenney, tallying a 50%-49% edge Tuesday.  Brindisi's excitement level was palpable in his victory speech.

“Husbands, wives, moms, dads, Democrats and Republicans here, We started this campaign together with just one idea. One idea that we were going put the working people, the middle class ahead of the special interest and I think we’ve shown that tonight.”

However, Tenney’s campaign says there is a 1400 vote difference, but 10,000 absentee ballots left to be counted – so she’s not conceding.  


We’ll Turn to local state assembly races now … and it was good to be an incumbent.

Democrat Al Stirpe will be heading back to Albany.  He urged supporters to stay engaged.

“What I want to make sure that no matter what happens tonight, everybody sticks with it because we’re making lots of progress in lots of areas here in Onondaga County.”

Stirpe won 57% to 41% for Nicholas Paro.

Bill Magnarelli kept his seat by an even wider margin.  He has a list of priorities to tackle as he goes back for his eleventh term.

“Continue economic development opportunities, continue looking for ways to bring jobs and opportunities to our area, and that gets me excited.  I can’t wait to start again.”

He topped Ed Ott and Michael Hunter drawing more than 71-percent of the support

Gary Finch continued the incumbent’s success, topping Keith Batman 55-42-percent. 

Will Barclay and Pam Hunter also won reelection.

Another Republican will fill the seat that was held by Senator John DeFrancisco for more than 25 years.  Bob Antonacci narrowly defeated Democrat John Mannion 51% to 49% in the wide-open 50th senate district race.   But Antonacci will be in the minority after Democrats wrested control of the chamber.  He says that means he’ll just have to reach across the aisle.

“The bottom line is I’m going to work hard.  I’m going to talk to anybody who wants to talk about good policy to move New York State forward.  I’ll work with Democrats out of New York City because they are going to start to be affected. I mean, I said on the campaign trail, ‘We are the ghost of New York City’s Christmas future.’ The economic malaise that we’ve seen up here is going to affect New York City at some point.”

If he fulfills his bipartisan promises, Antonacci will be working with Democrat Rachel May, who won the Senate race in the 53rd district over Janet Burman. May is a political newcomer who defeated incumbent Dave Valesky in the Democratic primary.  The Democrat wants Albany to have more of a CNY flavor.

“There are a lot of people who have expressed interest in working for me … so I think that will be very exciting.  There’s such talent and I want to bring Central New York talent to Albany with me.”

She beat Janet Burman, 49%-36%, with Valesky drawing 11% on minor party ballot lines.  

Here in Onondaga County and Syracuse

Gene Conway continues as Onondaga County Sheriff.
Credit Molly Bolan/WAER News

Republican Gene Conway will continue to run the County Sheriff’s department as he defeated Mike Montes 56%-44%.  Last night he was already thinking about getting right back to work.

“We’ll sit down tomorrow as a command team and we’ll start fleshing out those things we think are important to the community and that we can hopefully accomplish in the next few weeks, the next few months, and over the course of four years.”

And Michael Greene will keep his seat in city hall.  He won the councilor at large race over Norm Snyder and Frank Cetera. 

“We’re going to keep going.  Guys, does anyone believe the fight ends tonight? (crowd roars).  The energy, all the progressive energy that we found this year needs to go forward.  So let’s keep the momentum going.”

Greene won a special election, after being appointed to fill a vacancy in the seat … he’ll have to run again in a year to gain a full four-year term.  The final tally:  Greene-70%, Snyder-23% and Cetera-7%.

Ann Magnarelli (69%) took the City Court Judge race over Jason Zeigler (18%) and Shadia Tadros (12%).