NY Judge Orders GOP Candidate Be Certified Winner Of House Race
UNITED STATES - MARCH 07: Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., is interviewed in her Cannon Building office on March 07, 2018.
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Former Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R-NY) must be certified as the winner of the 2020 New York congressional race for the 22nd district, a New York judge ruled Friday.

State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte ruled that New York must certify the results of the 22nd congressional district and declare Tenney as the winner. He also rejected an argument from former Congressman Anthony Brindisi, the Democratic incumbent who held the seat at the time of the election, that certification in the race could be delayed.

“You’ve asked me to stop public bodies from doing their job. That’s what you’ve asked me to do: Stop an election,” DelConte told an attorney for Brindisi, reports “And that’s a very, very high burden. You must show irreparable harm.”

According to The Associated Press, Brindisi may still appeal to a state appeals court or appeal directly to the House of Representatives, which reserves the power to decide whether to seat congressional lawmakers. Tenney was ahead of Brindisi by just over 100 votes Friday, and more than 300,000 votes total were cast between the two candidates.

Tenney released a statement after the ruling saying that she was “honored to have won.”

“Now that every legal vote has been counted, it’s time for the results to be certified. The voters need a voice in Congress, and I look forward to getting to work on behalf of New York’s 22nd congressional district,” said Tenney.

Brindisi said he was shocked by the ruling, and that “countless errors and discrepancies” occurred in the initial counting process. “With the margin so thin, the ever changing tally, and the countless errors that have occurred arriving at today’s final number we can’t afford to wonder here,” he said.

Let’s follow that rule, get this right for our constituents and count all the 325,000-plus votes,” said Brindisi. “It’s shocking, right now, no one knows who actually won this race. My opponent and I deserve true clarity.”

According to Politico, DelConte said that “systemic violations of state and federal law” occurred at the level of local elections boards and affected both parties. However, the judge also said the court had no jurisdiction over those violations, and that no fraud had occurred.

The results of the congressional election have been in limbo since November of last year, and the uncertain outcome of the race has lasted longer than that of other congressional races, even in a year with many other razor-thin margins of victory.

After then-candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks was declared the winner of her Iowa congressional race by only six votes, her opponent, Democratic candidate Rita Hart, vowed to contest the race in the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) agreed to seat Miller-Meeks on a provisional basis, and the Iowa Republican now serves in Congress.

According to Roll Call, hearings have not been scheduled in the House to hear Hart’s challenge regarding the decision to seat Miller-Meeks in Congress.

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