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State Senate GOP candidates get boost from early, in-person voting

New York State Senate

Many State Senate races have not been called, and might not be for weeks, until the record number of absentee ballots cast this year are counted.

This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all eligible voters were allowed to cast mail in ballots and they have not yet been counted -- and may not be for several days.

The results of early voting and in-person voting favor Republicans in five contested seats: on Long Island, the lower Hudson Valley and New York City, and Democrats in three districts in the Rochester and Buffalo areas.    

In the GOP column, so far, are three Long Island first-term Democrats. Monica Martinez, James Gaughran and Kevin Thomas are all trailing their GOP challengers.

A New York City seat long held by a Republican until 2018 might be back in GOP hands. Right now, Vito Bruno is leading freshman Democrat Andrew Gounardes.

In the Hudson Valley, former Westchester County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is ahead of first-term Democrat Peter Harckham.  

Freshman Democrat Jen Metzger, who is behind Republican challenger Mike Martucci in the early and in-person voting, issued a statement urging the need to wait for the 25,000 absentee ballots in her district to be counted.

Democrats are ahead in three open seats previously held by Republicans.

In the Rochester area, Democrat Samra Brouck leads Republican Christopher Missick and Democrat Jeremey Cooney is ahead of the GOP’s Mike Barry. In the Buffalo region, Democrat Sean Ryan has already declared victory against Republican Joshua Mertzlufft, though the state Board of Elections tally shows that Mertzlufft leads the early and in-person voting tallies.

Democrats had hoped to pick up a two seats to achieve a supermajority in the Senate, with power to override any vetoes issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but they, along with everyone else, will have to wait until the absentee ballots are all counted.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.
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