Williams wins 22nd congressional district race; Toby Shelley will be the next Onondaga County Sheriff
We now know the results for two of three closed races on election night after Onondaga County finished counting mail-in and affidavit ballots. Republican Brandon Williams will represent the 22n/a congressional district after maintaining its narrow lead over Democrat Francis Conole. In a statement, Conole said he called Williams to offer his congratulations and wished him all the best in Congress representing Central New York. WAER News met the two election commissioners on Wednesday as ballots were scanned. Democratic Commissioner Dustin Czarny said most of their work is complete.
“Once the final unofficial results are released, we are looking at 99.99% of the ballots. The likelihood of a lead change at this point would be low.”
Republican Elections Commissioner Michele Sardo said only a handful of ballots remained.
“The military can still come in. They have two weeks, so next Tuesday would be the last day for them. There are cured ballots that can still come in. They have seven days.”
Corrected ballots are ballots corrected by voters after minor errors.
The other race decided by the final sweep of the ballots was for Onondaga County Sheriff. Democrat Toby Shelley will be the top cop in the county after edging out Republican Esteban Gonzalez by more than two percent of the vote. In a statement, Gonzalez congratulated Shelley on her win.
“There is no longer a path to victory, so I am fulfilling my election night promise and conceding,” González said. “I am grateful to the countless supporters who supported my candidacy.”
This leaves the 50e the Senate District race as the remaining undecided race, with incumbent Democrat John Mannion leading Republican Rebecca Shiroff by just 27 votes. This triggers an automatic manual recount. In a statement, Shiroff said she knew it would be a close race, and the unofficial results confirm that.
“We look forward to the manual recount where each ballot will be carefully reviewed and counted. I hope that at the end of this process, I will be in a better position to serve the people of central New York as the next state senator.”
Mannion has not released a statement at the time of publication. Commissioner Czarny says they expected this race to come down to a hand count, meaning they will have to go through 90,000 ballots. The results of this race will not be known until sometime after Thanksgiving. Czarny says it’s important for voters to know that the board of elections has the final say on the results, not the candidates or their campaigns.
“It’s not really a campaign’s legal responsibility to concede or declare victory. What we’re looking for here is what the votes are. That should be what drives the narrative in close races. “
To be clear, neither Shiroff nor Mannion conceded or declared victory. And Gonzalez didn’t concede until Wednesday night. However at 22n/a congressional district race, Brandon Williams claimed victory the night after Election Day before thousands more votes were counted. Francis Conole only cashed on Wednesday night.