Republican Chris Jacobs declared victory Wednesday night in the special election for the New York 27th Congressional District race between himself and Democrat Nate McMurray. In the state Senate 61st District, Jacqualine Berger did the same in the Democratic primary.
Jacobs released a statement in response to absentee ballot tallies from Erie County solidifying his victory.
“With the counting completed today and the outcome reaffirmed, I’m eager to get to work for the people of Western New York as their representative in Congress. I care deeply about this community and I will do all I can to serve it with honesty and integrity,” he said. “I would also like to personally thank each Board of Election member and employee who worked tirelessly throughout this process and the entire election season. Conducting an election under these circumstances was challenging for all involved and I appreciate the sacrifices made.”
David DiPasquale, the Democratic commissioner of the Livingston County Board of Elections, says the results of the special election were expected to be certified today.
Unofficial Livingston County results posted to the board’s website showed Jacobs with 5,513 votes to McMurray’s 4,877. Those totals include both absentee and affidavit ballots and those cast at polling places on June 23.
McMurray refused to concede the race on the night of June 23 and said he is not giving up his fight for the seat until all the votes have been counted. With the coronavirus pandemic, the special election had a higher than normal number of absentee ballots. As of last week, the State Board of Elections reported Jacobs was leading McMurray by nearly 28,000 votes. The 27th Congressional seat opened up after former Congressman Chris Collins pleaded guilty to federal insider trading charges. In 2018, McMurray lost the race against Collins by about 3,000 votes.
Jacobs was running in two separate races for the 27th District in the June 23 election. In addition to the special election for the remainder of the current term, he was also running in the Republican primary for the November general election.
New York’s 27th Congressional District includes all of Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, and Livingston counties and parts of Erie, Monroe, Niagara, and Ontario counties.
In Amherst Wednesday, Berger declared victory in the primary for the state Senate seat that will be vacated at the end of the year by longtime Republican state Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer. Berger was victorious against Kim Smith, formerly of the Monroe County Department of Public Health, and Joan Elizabeth Seamans, a small-business owner.
The race was too close to call on the night of the election, Berger said. After all the votes were tallied, Berger edged Smith by 141 votes. She received 9,246 votes (39 percent), while Smith earned 9,105 (38 percent) and Seamans received 5,475 votes (23 percent).
“I am honored to have won this close election against two outstanding candidates. I congratulate both of my opponents for running strong campaigns under challenging circumstances,” said Berger. “I am looking forward to the general election campaign, where we can work together to give the district the representation it deserves.”
Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner said, “We endorsed Jacqualine Berger because she understands the needs of the 61st State Senate district. I am proud of her victory in the Primary Election and look forward to supporting her this fall. The Democratic Party is united like never before, and ready to take on the Republican extremists.”
Berger will face Republican, Conservative Party and Serve America Movement Party candidate Edward Rath III in the election this fall.