Kennedy declares victory in State Senate primary

Sep 28, 2012

State Senator Tim Kennedy is declaring victory in his primary day contest against Erie County Legislature chairwoman Betty Jean Grant.  

The Erie County Board of Elections has spent the week counting absentee and affidavit ballots after a machine count showed Kennedy with a lead of less than 100 votes. 

Speaking in front of Board of Elections headquarters on West Eagle St. late Friday afternoon, the incumbent democrat says after the week-long ballot count, his lead is now "insurmountable."

"With all ballots counted and the process completed, I am proud to announce that we have secured victory," Kennedy said.

"When the machines were tabulated, we had a 91-vote lead. Now that all of the absentees, emergency, and affidavit ballots have been counted, our lead has grown to 149 votes. My opponent has only 108 objections, so at this point the Board of Elections has confirmed our victory."

While the Board has confirmed Kennedy's victory, the win has not yet been certified. 

Kennedy congratulated Grant on a "hard-fought campaign." He pledged to win over voters who cast ballots for his opponent.

Meanwhile, Grant says she is outraged that Kennedy is declaring a victory before a State Supreme Court judge hears her case on Wednesday.  Grant calls Kennedy's announcement "premature."

"We are not going anywhere.  Let the final counts be totaled.  Let all the court cases be settled and then you announce the winner.  There's no need to rush this because, right now, if you look at the number of votes cast, more people cast votes for me than Senator Kennedy based on the demographics and based on where the numbers are coming from," Grant told WBFO and AM 970 News.

"There's approximately 200 people who went to the wrong polling place and filed an affidavit, when they should of been directed to the right polling place, which is a federal violation of their civil rights."

Grant says she is going to call for a federal injunction to stop the election process because some of those voters went to the wrong polling place on primary day. 

The new 63rd District covers Buffalo, Cheektowaga, and Lackawanna.  There is no Republican challenger in the race, so the winner of the primary will hold a seat in Albany.