Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) has retained his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives after defeating Navy Captain John Plumb, a Democrat from Randolph, New York.
Reed prevailed, despite overwhelming dissent from Tompkins County voters, who cast 70.8 percent of their ballots in favor of Plumb. The following term will be Reed’s fourth in the House.
In a departure from their occasionally vitriolic campaign rhetoric, both candidates accepted their respective outcomes with grace.
“As I spoke to [Plumb] tonight, I offered my sincere congratulations on running a great campaign, and his service to our country is something I so appreciate and thank him for,” Reed said. “He was a good candidate, but at the end of the day it’s up to the people, and that’s the wisdom I will always respect.”
Plumb said that he was proud of the race he ran, but respects the will of the voters.
“I’m proud to say that we ran the race I wanted to run,” Plumb wrote on his Facebook page shortly after the contest’s results were announced. “We ran our race with integrity and honor, and with a focus on the communities we seek to serve. Those are the values I ran our campaign with, the values that run deep in the Southern Tier, Western New York and the Finger Lakes.”
“Unfortunately, the votes have been counted and today did not go in our favor,” he added.
Anticipating a Donald Trump presidential victory, Reed said that a key focus of the forthcoming congressional term will be to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
“What we need to replace it with is new healthcare in America that drives the costs down and we empower individuals and our doctors — not insurance carriers or government bureaucrats,” Reed said. “If we go down that path … [people] are going to have access to care and get the healthcare that everyone deserves.”
Another one of Reed’s goals will be to reform the tax code, an ambition he said he is confident he will be able to achieve with a seat on the House Ways and Means Committee.
“We need to make a simple tax code, we need to make a fair tax code, and we need to make a tax code that’s competitive in the 21st century,” Reed said. “And that is a huge issue that we put on the table, but I’ll tell you that the stars are aligned for us to get tax reform done, because it’s time.”
When asked about how he could begin mending relations with Tompkins County voters after a bitter campaign, Reed stressed that he will continue to provide services to Tompkins County residents and fairly represent all of his constituents.
“We are going to continue to fight when it comes to things like fighting hydrilla in the lake,” Reed said. “Philosophically, coming out of Tompkins County, many people disagree with us, but at the end of the day, we represent everyone. And our door is open to everyone.”
Reed said that while he is happy with today’s victory, he is looking forward.
“The job is not done. Now it’s time to continue tomorrow,” Reed said.
Tompkins County voters suffered another loss in New York State Senate elections. Democratic challenger Leslie Danks Burke failed to defeat incumbent Tom O’Mara (R-58). The defeat will be felt across New York, as a Danks Burke victory would have been key in gaining a Democratic majority in the N.Y. State Senate.
However, Tompkins County voters prevailed in reelecting Democratic Assemblyperson Barbara Lifton to the N.Y. State Assembly. They also elected Democrat Matt Van Houten to the county’s district attorney post.