Congressional candidate Tracy Mitrano admits there’s no path to victory in her race against Republican incumbent Tom Reed. Still, she won’t make an official statement about the outcome of the race until every vote has been counted.
Absentee ballots have not yet been counted in New York. During a press call on Thursday, Mitrano said those voters deserve to be included.
“We will stand behind every person, every vote. We will be sure their vote is counted, included and heard,” she said.
Mitrano admitted that the absentee ballots will not change the outcome of the race for New York’s 23rd Congressional District. She said it’s important, however, for her to wait to concede out of respect for the democratic process. Mitrano said she expects the gap will be much narrower when all votes have been counted.
One reason she remains optimistic is the more than 11,000 absentee ballots in Tompkins County. The county has more registered Democrats than any other county in the district. On Tuesday, Tompkins County voters chose Mitrano over Reed by a 2-1 margin.
In the district overall, the results are the reverse. Reed holds over 60% of the vote to Mitrano’s 35%.
Mitrano admitted that she expected to do better in her second campaign against Reed. She said she thought this year’s election would be more like 2008, when voters chose a Democratic president and voted for Democrats down the ballot.
She said voters this year are in a very different mood. Nationally, Democrats have not done as well as they expected.
“I think people are disappointed that we didn’t get to a better place,” she said. “And there may be a whole lot more bitterness, division and cynicism that we had back then.”
Mitrano also warned Tompkins County party leaders about being complacent. She said that voter turnout was no different than in 2018.
“There is room to grow, especially in the downtown [Ithaca] community. And I’m talking about registered voters who don’t go to the polls,” she said.
They might not change congressional outcomes, but Mitrano said it could have an impact on state senate races.
The two-time congressional candidate also reflected on possible changes to the district after the Census.
“Here’s my prediction — that Tompkins County will join the 22nd district.”
The 23rd district includes New York's Southern Tier and extends to the coast of Lake Erie.
Congressional districts are drawn by state legislators. The Democratic Party in New York leads both houses of the legislature.
Absentee ballot counting in the state cannot begin until Nov. 6. It is the earliest state election officials will finish checking if any person voted twice. The earliest absentee ballots will begin to be counted in the district is Nov. 9.