Democrat Dan Maffei is projected to oust incumbent Republican Ann Marie Buerkle in New York's newly drawn 24th Congressional District. CNN and the Associated Press are projecting Maffei to win.
"I am confident when all the votes are counted I will be your next congressman," says Maffei to supporters at Democratic Headquarters in Syracuse on election night.
The day after the election, Maffei's lead over Buerkle continued to widen.
According to Cayuga County Board of Elections Commissioner Kate Lacey, a data entry error mistakenly credited Buerkle with about 2,000 extra votes in the Town of Brutus. Those votes actually belonged to Maffei. Also, only one of three precincts in the town had reported in last night.
Here are the latest numbers in the race:
Maffei 130,508 48%Buerkle 117,904 44%Rozum 21,291 8%
Right now, the results are unofficial, but in an interview with CNYCentral on Wednesday afternoon, Maffei essentially claimed victory in the race, thanking supporters and saying he looks forward to returning to Washington.Congresswoman Buerkle is not conceding the race yet. She released the following statement Wednesday morning: â??In 2010, we were trailing on election night, only to see more votes come in and the outcome changed. With so many ballots still to be recorded, it is important that we make sure there is an accurate counting of all votes. Our right to vote has been bought and paid for by the men and women of our armed services, and we owe it to all who have paid the ultimate price to count these ballots and allow the Democratic process to run its course.â?? A spokesperson for Buerkle said she would not be available for an on camera interview. Elections officials likely won't certify the results until after Thanksgiving after absentee ballots are counted.
The win would return Maffei to Washington. He was elected to the House in 2008, only to lose to Buerkle by fewer than 700 votes in his 2010 bid for re-election.
The Republican had a 4,300-voter enrollment advantage in the central New York district that encompasses the city of Syracuse and the rest of Onondaga County, as well as Cayuga, Wayne and part of Oswego counties.
With unemployment at 8.6 percent in Syracuse, job creation was the top issue. Maffei has advocated for the repeal of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he says has cost the upstate region jobs.The race between Buerkle and Maffei has been considered one of the most competitive congressional races in the country. Recent polls showed Buerkle and Maffei in a virtual dead heat . Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum conceded on Tuesday night shortly after 10 p.m.
(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)