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Two U.S. House Races In The Hudson Valley Are Close

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
WAMC/Allison Dunne
U.S. Capitol

Some congressional races in New York’s Hudson Valley ended up closer than predicted and while the incumbents have declared victory, their opponents have not conceded. 

In the 19th District, first-term Democratic Congressman Antonio Delgado leads Republican Kyle Van De Water. Delgado declared victory late this morning. He says that with all election districts reporting, and his more than 7,000-vote lead, data shows that his margin of victory will grow once absentee ballots are counted. He says that with about 60,000 absentee ballots left to be counted, some 51 percent are for registered Democrats versus around 22 percent cast by registered Republicans. Van De Water, responding to Delgado’s declaration of victory, tweeted “Not so fast, Delgado.” A Van De Water campaign manager, in a statement late Tuesday, says they are waiting for the official results and, as they learned in the primary, an unprecedented number of voters in NY-19 chose to vote via absentee ballot. Delgado endured a contentious race in 2018, defeating Republican John Faso by 15,000 votes, finishing just north of 51 percent. The 19th House District sprawls across 11 counties. Green Party candidate Steve Greenfield and Libertarian candidate Victoria Alexander also were on the ballot.

In the neighboring 18th House District, Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney declared victory just before 2 a.m. over Republican Chele Farley. Maloney says he has not heard from Farley.

“But it’s absolutely clear from the results last night, and the nature of the absentee ballots, that I’m going to be comfortably re-elected and eager to go back to work,” Maloney says.

He describes the number of absentee ballots as massive and overwhelmingly Democratic.

“So we know, for example, that 57,000 absentee ballots have been returned in my congressional district. Of those, 29,000 are Democrats. Only 11,000 are from Republican voters, and the rest are not affiliated or minor parties. And so that’s a basically 3-1 advantage in those absentee votes,” says Maloney. “Now, we don’t know how each of those voters voted, right, but those are the party registrations. So it’s a very comfortable assumption that, when all is said and done, what looks like a close race won’t be really close at all. We’re actually expecting more like a 10-point win.”

Maloney would return for a fifth term in the district that includes all of Orange and Putnam Counties and parts of Dutchess and Westchester Counties. There’s been no statement yet from the Farley campaign and a request for comment was not answered in time for this broadcast. Third-party candidate Scott Smith, in a Facebook post this morning, thanked his supporters and congratulated both of his opponents on their efforts.

Meantime, in the 17th District that contains all of Rockland County and part of Westchester, Democrat Mondaire Jones has declared victory over Republican Maureen McArdle-Schulman. Jones will be the first person of color to represent the district, the first openly gay person to represent the district, and, along with Ritchie Torres of the Bronx, will be the first openly gay, Black members of Congress.

“I am humbled by the trust voters in Westchester and Rockland have placed in me and grateful for the opportunity to serve the community that raised me, the community that gave my grandparents refuge from Jim Crow Virginia and that brought their grandson from Section 8 housing and food stamps all the way to the United States Congress,” Jones says.

Jones defeated a large slate of primary opponents and was the only Democrat to announce his run before Democratic Congresswoman Nita Lowey said she would not seek a 17th term. Jones, who grew up in Rockland County and attended the East Ramapo Central School District, says his win is for single moms like his, who held multiple jobs to provide for her family. He says his win is also for many others.

“It’s for the little black boy who couldn’t wait to take my picture at the Black Lives Matter rally in Croton because he had never seen someone who looked like him up on that podium,” Jones says. “It’s for the hundreds of thousands of young, queer kids from across New York-17 and throughout this country.”

Jones served in the Obama Administration in the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice before attending Harvard Law School. Most recently, Jones was an attorney in Westchester County’s Law Department.

Democrat Jamaal Bowman, also a progressive, thanked his supporters election night and said he is humbled to be the next Representative of New York-16. He had about 68 percent of the vote with the majority of districts reporting. The Yonkers resident and former principal of a public middle school he founded in the Bronx, defeated 16-term Congressman Eliot Engel in the primary. Bowman faced Patrick McManus, a retired Yonkers firefighter who ran on the Conservative line. The 16th District includes parts of the Bronx and Westchester County.

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