Republican Chris Collins declared victory in a very close race against democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul in the 27th Congressional District. The Associated Press declared Collins the winner after midnight -- with 51-percent of the vote to Hochul's 49-percent. But as WBFO'S Eileen Buckley reports, Hochul didn't concede until a couple of hours later.
Hochul was defeated Tuesday by Republican Chris Collins, the former Erie County executive.
Initially, with tens of thousands of absentee and military ballots still to be counted, Hochul did not concede the election before supporters Tuesday night in Hamburg. Collins declared victory early Wednesday morning.
But just a couple of hours later, Hochul conceded the race in a written statement issued to the media at 2 a.m. Wednesday:.
"I am humbled by this win," said Collins in his speech before a crowd of GOP supporters at the Embassy Suites in downtown Buffalo.
November 7, 2012
STATEMENT FROM KATHY HOCHUL ON 2012 ELECTION
“Early this morning I called Chris Collins and congratulated him on being elected to Congress. I encouraged him to work across the aisle and offered to assist him in any way I can. I also volunteered to help him make a smooth transition in January to ensure our constituents are well served. Congress can do better, and the people of this country deserve better than what Washington has given them.”
Collins frequently tried to link Hochul to President Barack Obama's administration, as well as to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Hochul, meanwhile, had campaigned as an independent voice in Washington who often voted against the administration.
The race was a top draw for outside money in New York. A poll showed a dead heat in its final weeks.
The sprawling 27th Congressional District stretches across eight western New York counties and the suburban and rural towns between Buffalo and Rochester.