CORNING – Incumbent Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) won the race for the newly drawn New York 23rd Congressional District and will serve as Chautauqua County’s next congressman, starting in January 2013. Reed defeated challenger Nate Shinagawa (D-Ithaca) by an unofficial margin of about 51 to 49 percent.
In Chautauqua County, Reed defeated Shinagawa by an unofficial tally of 24,558 (52.7 percent) to 22,042 (47.3 percent).
The race was much closer than anticipated, with it still being too close to call after more than 85 percent of the election districts had reported in. But Reed eventually did pull away and announce victory shortly after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night, although Shinagawa initially said he would wait to concede until after he was able to review the final results. However, within half-an-hour of Reed claiming victory, Shinagawa eventually conceded.
While the final numbers had yet to come in, Reed told the media that he is confident he will have won by a larger margin of victory than originally reported, adding that he won 10 of the 11 counties in the district. Reed also gave his reaction to the Presidential race, saying while he was upset Mitt Romney he’s willing to work in a bipartisan manner with reelected President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate.
Following his concession speech, Nate Shinagawa spoke with WRFA and said that despite losing the race, he believes his campaign made a statement, showing that the 23rd Congressional District is by no means a “safe” district for the Republican Party. He says he also believes that his campaign has helped to pave the way for future Democratic congressional candidates in the Southern Tier. He added that it was still too early to say whether he’d have any interest in taking another crack at the seat in 2014.
Also last night, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand won reelection, easily defeating her opponent, Republican Wendy Long.