Republican James Tedisco vowed Tuesday night to his supporters that he’d defeat Democrat Scott Murphy in the too-close-to-call New York special election.
Murphy leads Tedisco by just 65 votes but as many as 10,000 absentee ballots may need to be counted, according to election officials.
The Albany Times-Union reports that 5,907 absentee ballots have been received by the state Board of Elections, but 10,000 were mailed out, according to spokesman Bob Brehm. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by March 30 and received within seven days for regular absentee ballots or 13 days for military and overseas ballots.
“I believe when the smoke clears we will have won a tremendous victory,” Tedisco told hundreds of cheering supporters Politico reported. “I know you all are ready to celebrate, but we’ll have to wait a little longer.”
Tedisco’s chief of staff Bill Sherman told Politico that the campaign is confident it will regain the lead once absentee ballots – many of them cast by troops overseas – are counted. Registered Republicans traditionally have cast a plurality of the absentee ballots.
Democrats, meanwhile, tried to spin their narrow lead as a victory for President Barack Obama and the liberal agenda.
“From 21 points down to securing a majority of the vote tonight, congratulations to Scott Murphy who ran an extraordinary campaign focused on his record as a successful businessman who helped to create jobs and his strong support for President Obama’s economic recovery act,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen said in a statement. “As votes continue to be counted, we’re confident that Scott Murphy will expand his lead.”
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