Anthony Brindisi Claims Win Over Claudia Tenney In NY-22
By Conor Wight – Utica, N.Y. (CitrusTV News) – Two weeks after election day, Anthony Brindisi is claiming victory over incumbent Claudia Tenney. With a lead of 4,002 votes, it is now impossible for Tenney to win.
On Tuesday, the Oneida County Board of Elections, the last of the eight counties in New York’s 22nd House District to count absentee ballots, released unofficial results. There are 1,881 absentee ballots left in Oneida, and Tenney could win them all without overcoming Brindisi’s lead.
Although not officially called, Brindisi is likely going to Capitol Hill. His election has major implications for Democrats as the party struggles with an important question: Who will serve as the party leader in the 116th Congress?
Brindisi is one of the 16 signatories on a letter opposing Nancy Pelosi becoming the next House Speaker that was released on Monday. During the campaign, Brindisi looked to distance himself from Pelosi and the Democratic establishment, avoiding invoking Trump-opposition in
his effort to maintain a moderate identity.
“I believe it’s time for new leadership on both sides of the aisle,” Brindisi said in May.
The letter alleges that Democratic success in the House during this past election cycle came because candidates like Brindisi “promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise.”
Conservative groups have long used Pelosi as a boogeyman against Democrats. During the campaign for NY-22, the National Republican Congressional Committee paid for an ad that alleged “a vote for Anthony Brindisi is a vote for Nancy Pelosi.”
However, Brindisi voiced his support of a change in Democratic leadership early on in the campaign. Despite being a top target for party leaders, Brindisi ran on a centrist, moderate message. Other candidates, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, chose to sell liberal
ideals on the campaign trail to secure victory.
Brindisi’s moderate message earned him the endorsements of the former Republican representative of the 22nd District Richard Hanna. Sherwood Boehlert, another Republican representative who used to serve NY-24, also endorsed Brindisi.
Flipping the 22nd district was crucial for Democrats in their bid to retake the house, accomplished with 37 formerly red house seats across the country. However, Democrats now risk losing a platform that will appeal to voters ahead of 2020 as the party struggles with unity.
Conor Wight was a live reporter for the CitrusTV Election Special at Anthony Brandisi’s campaign party on November 6, 2018.