Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Walsh Not Prepared to Claim Victory in NY-25

Incumbent House representative James Walsh is currently ahead by just under 4000 votes in New York's District 25. Dan Maffei has not conceded and will not concede until all of the votes have been fairly counted, which will likely mean waiting at least a week for all absentee ballots to be gathered and counted.

Dan Maffei says that, regardless of the outcome of the final count, he isn't going anywhere. Forcing the national Republican party to pour over a million dollars into an 18-year Republican incumbent's campaign in 2006 has been a profound contribution to Democratic victories nationwide.

There's a video at Channel 9 WSYR explaining the fact that it will be some time before we'll know with any certainty the outcome of the Congressional race in N.Y.'s 25th district.

Only 75% of Onondaga County's approximately 6500 absentee ballots have been returned so far. WSYR Channel 9 lists the absentee ballot breakdown by county as follows:
Outstanding Absentee Ballots by county

-Onondaga County: About 6,500
-Wayne County: 1,151
-Monroe County: 1,144
-Cayuga County: 153
Next Wednesday (a week from now) will be the day we may know a lot more about who has won this tight race. Until then, James Walsh can hope (and act) as if he has won the race if he likes, but he's admitting that he's not prepared to call it a solid win.

Onondaga County elections commissioner (Democrat) Ed Szczesniak says that the district voting machines cannot be recanvassed until the courts say so - which will likely be next Monday or Tuesday. The State Democratic Committee has petitioned the courts in Albany to impound the absentee ballots. Mr. Szezniak feels that Dan Maffei has a pretty large hill to climb in order to win because absentee ballots are generally pretty close in outcome to machine votes, and teh machines decided a 51% Walsh - 49% Maffei outcome.

While I'm sure that that is likely to be true, I think each and every voter in District 25 deserves to be heard. The vote is the most important citizen-method of participating in government and when you get this close, every vote truly does count in a local race. I'm glad to see both candidates, James Walsh and Dan Maffei, being respectful and mindful of the citizens who voted.

Wanting to appear confident, Rep. Walsh has said while there will probably be a recount, he bets that he's feeling a lot better than Mr. Maffei right now. I realize that he's probably quite nervous himself right now. I'm wondering how either fellow can be feeling particularly confident in this situation. It's a nail-biter. It can go either way at this point. The race is just that close.

I'm pulling for Dan Maffei, but regardless of who wins, it's been a wonderful exercise in democracy. I'm proud of Dan and his campaigners - the hard work I know they did and the hope they projected for change in Washington D.C. All involved in the campaign should be very proud of what they've accomplished.

I wish that the DCCC had come to our district and been more supportive from the start. The homegrown grassroots campaigners for Mr. Maffei showed that when you believe, you can accomplish things that even the DCCC and Washington consultants could not envision.