Tedisco Clings to 17-Vote Lead in N.Y.

Posted April 8, 2009 at 3:56pm

With the recanvassing process nearly complete, Republican Jim Tedisco was clinging to a 17-vote lead at the end of the day Wednesday in New York’s still-too-close-to-call special election in the 20th district.

Tedisco, who until recently was the state Assembly Minority Leader, garnered 77,035 votes to Democrat Scott Murphy’s 77,018, according to totals reported by the state board of elections Wednesday afternoon.

The winner of the hard-fought race to replace newly appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) in the House will not be known until absentee ballots are counted, a process that began Wednesday morning. The counting of ballots that came from military personnel and other voters who were overseas on Election Day will not begin until next week.

Of the more than 6,700 absentee ballots returned, 3,111 came from registered Republicans while 2,394 came from registered Democrats.

State election officials expect to announce the totals from Wednesday’s absentee ballot counting on Thursday morning.

Both parties continue to express confidence that their candidate will ultimately be victorious.

“As the day comes to a close, we feel very good about our position and continue to believe that the final tally will show Jim Tedisco as the winner,— Tedisco attorney James Walsh said in a statement Wednesday evening. “As we have said all along, the primary focus is to make sure that every lawful ballot be counted so that residents of the 20th district can have confidence in the ultimate outcome.—