Syracuse (WSYR-TV/AP) - Democrat Dan Maffei has declared victory over incumbent Republican Ann Marie Buerkle in New York's newly drawn 24th Congressional District.
Maffei said in a speech just after midnight that while there are still votes to be counted, he expects to come out on top.
Buerkle spoke earlier in the evening and said at that time there were more votes to be counted and the race was not over. She issued a written statement on Wednesday morning
The win will 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.
He teaches at the State University of New York.
Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum conceded early on Tuesday night. She released the following statement thanking those who supported her campaign:
“Thank you to everyone who supported my campaign – those who volunteered, donated, stood by my side and spoke up for the progressive policies we need to address the serious crises facing us – the jobs crisis, the climate crisis and the democracy crisis. I want to thank the people of the 24th District who voted for me and Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala on our presidential ticket, for Colia Clark for US Senator, and Michael Donnelly for State Senator. Thank you for standing with me in opposition to the two-party political establishment and for speaking up for the progressive Green alternative.
"The results of this election present us with a situation, not a solution. And even before we learn the results, it is clear what the two big corporate-funded parties have planned for us. That’s why need to keep organizing our movement for social change so that we can stand up to the system of two-party corporate rule that is strangling our democracy.”