Democrats win every State Legislative seat in Erie County
Democrats in the New York State Legislature came out on top Tuesday night, winning every State Assembly and State Senate race in Erie County.
Democratic State Sen. Sean Ryan described his race against fellow incumbent State Sen. Ed Rath, a Republican, as a "cruel game of musical chairs." Ryan and Rath were both drawn into the newly created 61st Senate district. Redistricting made the region more favorable to the GOP, and Ryan admitted he was nervous because he didn't know which way the vote would go.
"It really made it a challenging because the voters knew both candidates well," Ryan said. "They have experience with both candidates, and I'm sure there were things they liked about both of us. But I really just kept on with the positive message and the message of how our better days are in front of us. I was really happy in the end that the voters accepted that message."
Assemblyman Patrick Burke defeated challenger Sandy Magnano to continue to serve in his role over the 142nd Assembly District. Democratic Chairman and Erie County Democratic Elections Commissioner Jeremy Zellner expressed his disdain about the tactics he felt the GOP used against Burke in a speech at the Democratic election headquarters Tuesday night.
"Republicans went out and found somebody who was literally an insurrectionist, election-denying, complete radical, and put them up against Assemblymember Burke and thought that they were going to pull this off," Burke said. "They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars... attacking him and just dumping it all out there. But he proved that you keep your nose to the grindstone, you're successful. You deliver for the community, you're successful. You stand up for what you believe in, you're successful. That's what all of these state legislators do for our community."
Senator Tim Kennedy beat Faye Pietrak, who only appeared on the Conservative Party line, to win another term representing the 63rd NYS Senate District.
Rep. Brian Higgins will serve another term representing New York's 26th Congressional District.