OSWEGO — In Tuesday’s 2018 midterm elections, uncontested Republicans largely dominated Oswego County’s down-ballot races but the big ticket items — Congressional, statewide and judicial races — showcased the area to be what Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow calls “a purple district.”
Elected and party officials celebrated their wins and mourned their losses Tuesday night with Republican and Democrat watch parties at Steamer’s and the American Foundry respectively.
The Palladium-Times caught up with some of the county’s biggest political names on Wednesday to process the results of the election and learn what it means for Oswego County:
24th Congressional District
“I’m happy for Congressman Katko and I believe the support he received yesterday is a true testament to the job he does accurately representing our district,” said Barlow. “Our district is a purple district, making it competitive every election cycle, but yesterday shows people realize he’s doing a great job. He’s an independent thinker, and he is incredibly visible throughout the district, especially Oswego.”
“I’m disappointed in the result,” said Oswego County Legislator and Minority Whip Dan Farfagila, D-Fulton, Granby, of the race. “I was really hoping that the blue wave would have reached our portion of Central New York, as it did in other parts of the State. Even though the political enrollments are pretty much even, Katko got more votes this year, fair and square.”
“Congressman Katko has been a tremendous partner in government since his first election,” said Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus. “I’m thrilled he’ll be retuning to Washington. We need independent voices like his fighting for common sense policy.”
President of the Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum and Third Ward Common Councilor Kevin Hill also expressed his appreciation of the incumbent Republican’s re-election.
“I am very pleased to see that Congressman Katko was re-elected,” he said Wednesday. “He never wavered in his support of the Fort Ontario Study Act, which paves the way for Safe Haven and Fort Ontario becoming a National Park, despite indications that politics could have derailed the effort. He has demonstrated his commitment to our community time and time again, and his willingness to cross the aisle to get things done, sets him apart form many other partisan politicians.”
“I’m proud of the campaign Dana Balter ran, from a primary underdog to a legitimate contender in the 24th,” county Legislator Tom Drumm, D-Oswego, said. “I was proud to work alongside her. Her message resonated with people all backgrounds and truly brought a movement to the 24th district, we fell just short. I send my congratulations to Congressman Katko. He ran a hard race, but our work in holding him accountable continues. Frankly, it’s just starting”
22nd Congressional District
In a race that is currently too close to call, Democratic challenger Anthony Brindisi is assuming victory. Out of 234,136 votes counted and 100 percent of precincts reporting, Brindisi is ahead of Republican incumbent Claudia Tenney by a mere 1,422 votes.
“I was surprised at how quickly some of the national news called NY22,” said Backus. “Every vote should be counted, and I hope whoever wins works with Congressman Katko to speak with a united voice on behalf of Oswego County.”
“I’m excited about the possibility of Assemblyman Brindisi going to Congress,” said Farfaglia. “He worked hard in every part of the 22nd district and for the moment, he is ahead in the vote count. He did exceedingly well despite the party enrollment disadvantage that he had to work with.”
“Anthony Brindisi ran a campaign on inclusion with a focus on local politics,” said Drumm. “They should feel proud and we’re likely sending a great man to Congress after our absentees come in. Congresswoman Tenney did the latter and the voters called her on it.”
Assembly District 120 & State Supreme Court
“Assemblyman Barclay’s work speaks for itself, and you can see by the election result how well he has served our area,” said Backus of Assemblyman William Barclay’s triumph over Democratic challenger Gail Tosh. Barclay was elected to his ninth term.
“Gail Tosh should also be proud of the campaign she ran,” said Drumm. “Gail isn’t going anywhere. She has a future here locally. I was so glad to field some competition in the 120th!”
“The biggest victory for the County Democrats was Scott DelConte winning one of the State Supreme Court seats,” said Farfaglia. “This is the first time a member of our party from our area has been elected to this position since 1973.”
“Locally,” said Drumm, “we were absolutely thrilled for Scott DelConte. He ran an historic campaign on the Democratic, Conservative and Independence ballot lines and remained absolutely steadfast no matter how many obstacles were thrown at him. We’re sending a great man to the bench.”