Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) has saved his seat in Congress for the next two years following victory over Democrat candidate Tracy Mitrano J.D. ’95.
While Tompkins County voted overwhelmingly in favor of Mitrano, with 74.52 percent of the county voting for the cybersecurity expert, the rest of New York’s 23rd district re-elected Reed, who has served the area since 2010.
“Thank you, New York!” Reed wrote on Facebook early Wednesday.
Mitrano called Reed to concede the race, according to an emailed statement from Aryn Fields, a spokesperson for the Mitrano campaign.
“While I’m disappointed in the ultimate results, I am also exceedingly proud and grateful to have had the chance to run in this race,” Mitrano wrote. “Though we fell short in the final vote count, our work is not over.”
Winning with a margin of 53.78 percent over Mitrano’s 43.99 percent, Reed’s campaign went against the national trend for House seats. Although the Cook Partisan Voter Index deemed the race a likely Republican one, Mitrano’s campaign had hoped that the nationally deliberated “blue wave” might wash them to Washington, D.C.
Instead, Reed will continue his tenure, following a campaign that denounced the Affordable Care Act, opposed New York’s gun-control legislature, known as the SAFE Act, and arguing for a simpler tax code. Reed has, according to FiveThirtyEight, voted alongside President Donald Trump’s viewpoint 96.6 percent of the time.
Following an increase in voter registration since 2017 across all counties, according to New York’s Board of Elections, all eyes were on voter turnout.
34,705 Tompkins County residents voted in this year’s midterm election, a 30% increase from 2014’s midterm election, when Reed defeated then-challenger Martha Robertson ’75 in an election where 190,554 ballots were cast. In this election cycle, that number reached 228,475 as of late Tuesday night.
“We really did something that was different,” Mitrano said late Tuesday night from the campaign’s Horseheads watch party. “We really helped each other.”
“If I can leave with one word it is: Don’t give up,” Mitrano said to cheers.
Moments after the polls closed at 9 p.m., Mitrano tweeted “I am humbled by the outpouring of support for this campaign. Together, we built a grassroots movement, founded on the belief that we we can bring accountability and economic opportunity back to #NY23. Thank you to everyone who went out today and cast their ballot.”
Mitrano’s campaign has focused highly on developing infrastructure, energizing environmental protections and developing cybersecurity initiatives. Mitrano also was a proponent of legalizing cannabis and decreasing interest rates on college loans.
A Cornell alumna, Mitrano also formerly worked as Director of Information Technology Policy for the University. She returned to Cornell for a town hall hosted by Cornell Democrats, The Sun previously reported, as well as other events this month at Ithaca’s Southside Community Center.
Reed last visited Cornell’s campus earlier this month, lunching with members of Cornell Republicans during a round-table discussion, The Sun previously reported.
Tompkins County did help re-elect Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) as she continues her representation to the United States Senate as New York’s junior senator since 2009; the race was considered safe for the Democratic party.
Republican Thomas O’Mara defeated challenger Amanda Kirchgessner for the 58th district’s state senator position.
Also on the ballot were Elizabeth Burns and Joe McBride, both of whom were running for State Supreme Court Justice were neck-in-neck late Tuesday night. The winner will serve for the next fourteen years as justice for the 6th judicial district.
Letitia James, the Democrat candidate, secured the Attorney General seat.