Oswego County Helps Maffei Lead in Race for Congress

A surprising win for Democrat Dan Maffei in Oswego County helped him build a lead that is likely to give him back the seat in Congress he lost to Ann Marie Buerkle two years ago.

Maffei, running in Oswego County for the first time, captured the plurality of the county’s vote, taking 45.5% of the vote to 43.2% for Buerkle, the Tea Party-backed Republican who won a razor-thin fight to unseat Maffei two years ago.

Ursula Rozum, running on the Green Party line, took more votes than a Green candidate has ever earned in Oswego County, winning nearly 8% of the vote.

The new 24th district encompasses the western half of the county, including the cities of Fulton and Oswego.

Across the district, Maffei built a large lead in his home county, Onondaga, added to it in Oswego County, and then gave up about half of the lead as Buerkle won Cayuga and Wayne counties.

The unofficial tallies across the four-county district:

  • Maffei:  129,408 votes, for 48.2%
  • Buerkle:  117,904 votes, for 43.9%
  • Rozum:  21,291 votes, for 7.9%

There are between 15,000 and 21,000 absentee ballots yet to be counted, but Buerkle will have to win a very large percentage of those votes in order to overtake Maffei.

The two campaigns had sought to have all ballots impounded after the vote, anticipating a long and drawn-out recount.  A judge refused to issue the impound order, saying there wasn’t a need yet.  At least one of the counties, Wayne County, will wait nearly two weeks to begin counting absentee ballots.

Because of that, and because of the national spotlight on this race, no one’s calling it a final result or a done deal.

“I am confident than when the count is over, I will be your next Congressman,” Maffei said to cheers from his supporters at the DoubleTree Hotel in Syracuse.

Buerkle told her subdued supporters that it was too early to say who had won.

Both candidates spoke well before Cayuga County and Wayne County released election results, which was well after 1:00 a.m.

Rozum conceded defeat early but turned in a strong performance, aided in part by public perception of the two major party candidates and the nastiness of their TV-commercial battle.

Other races:

  • Congressman Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) easily won reelection in a redrawn district that now includes the western half of Oswego County;
  • Congressman Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) won his rematch with Republican Matt Doheny, though Owens lost Oswego County in this year’s redistricting;
  • Oswego County’s Amy Tresidder failed in her bid to unseat State Senator Patty Ritchie, 70% to 30%;
  • County voters gave majority votes to President Barack Obama and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, both Democrats;
  • Michael Backus, the current county Republican Party chief, won election to the County Clerk post left vacant by the death this year of George Williams.  He beat former County Legislator Phil Vasho 60% to 40%.

1 Comment

  1. I’m using my initials because I believe BOTH these candidates should not take too much for granted. This was one of the nastiest bit for election on BOTH sides I’ve ever seen. Instead of focussing on what they WILL be doing, they were finding nitpicky little bits of information that their opponent did to run their campaign. Just because one or the other will win the seat after the votes are counted, doesn’t mean that the NEXT election, if their opponent doesn’t run such a slimy campaign they won’t be ‘unseated.’ I voted for one of them, not saying who, but I had a very hard time picking one negative focus over the other negative focus.

    Know that your voters for the popular vote may not be as ignorant as you believe. We don’t all like reality t.v., and we don’t all believe what we hear. But we DO watch to see what sort of infantile tactics you use to denigrate not just the opponent, but yourself. And, how manure DOES stick to your shoes in doing so.


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