Brindisi concedes prolonged race as Tenney retakes New York seat she lost in 2018

Democrat offers help with transition while decrying ‘systemic violations’

After a lengthy legal challenge over the ballot count, Democrat Anthony Brindisi conceded Monday that he lost to Republican Claudia Tenney in New York's 22nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
After a lengthy legal challenge over the ballot count, Democrat Anthony Brindisi conceded Monday that he lost to Republican Claudia Tenney in New York's 22nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted February 8, 2021 at 4:28pm

Democrat Anthony Brindisi conceded Monday that he lost his bid for reelection in New York’s 22nd District, ending a three-month legal challenge to the November results and clearing the way for Republican former Rep. Claudia Tenney to retake the seat she lost in 2018.

Brindisi said in a statement that he wished to make the transition process as “smooth as possible on behalf of our community,” but decried an election and counting process he said was “riddled with errors, inconsistencies and systemic violations of state and federal laws.”

"My one disappointment is that the Court did not see fit to grant us a recount,” he said.

Brindisi’s concession came hours after the state board of elections declared Tenney the winner, ending a fight that involved numerous court hearings and exhaustive searches for uncounted ballots or official errors that would change the razor-thin outcome. The margin separating the two candidates seesawed as the count was subjected to repeated reviews.

Tenney, an attorney who represented the district from 2017 to 2019, was ahead by 109 votes when state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte removed a restraining order Friday that had prevented final certification.

The race was one of two House contests that have been mired in legal and administrative arguments since the November election. In Iowa’s 2nd District, another swing district, Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks was seated in January after being declared the winner by just six votes. Her opponent, Democrat Rita Hart, has petitioned the House Administration Committee to count additional votes. The committee has not scheduled a hearing.

Brindisi is the 13th incumbent House Democrat, and the second from New York, to lose his or her seat to the GOP in 2020. Overall, Democrats lost a net 11 seats from the 116th Congress. No Republican House incumbent was defeated.

Once Tenney is seated, Democrats will have 221 seats in the House to the GOP’s 211, with three seats vacant.