Nearly ten weeks after the election, Cecilia Tkaczyk, backed by the progressive Working Families slate, wins her race for the New York State Senate over wealthy real estate developer George Amedore.
Progressive Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk has been elected to the New York State Senate over former Assemblyman George Amedore (R), after a successful court challenge led to the counting of 99 previously uncounted ballots from the November elections. Amedore, a wealthy real estate developer, saw his 37-vote lead become a 19-vote loss as the ballots were counted Thursday and Friday.
Tkaczyk ran a strongly progressive campaign in the Albany-area district, emphasizing her support for public education, LGBT equality, equal pay for women, reproductive choice, environmental protection, and campaign finance reform. Though she was heavily outspent by Amedore, she benefited from outside spending by supporters ofpublic financing for candidates. In a December op/ed, she observed: “If I do get sworn in, I’ll know my support for public financing is a central reason I won the job.”
Yes, that's certainly one of the reasons, but the other one is equally central: Every vote counts. The fact that she had to mount a court challenge to count uncounted votes is shameful, but it's fortunate for her that she won it. Her victory would not have been celebrated today if those 99 votes had not been counted.
The result is a real victory for progressives, as ThinkProgress notes:
A coalition of Republicans and Independent Democrats share power and jointly control the 63-member Senate. But with Tkaczyk’s newly-determined victory, Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos will have a minority of seats — strengthening both the influence of the five-member Independent Democratic Conference and the likelihood of progressive legislation passing the body. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver are both Democrats.
Congratulations, Senator-elect Tkaczyk.