Tim Kennedy

Kennedy declares victory in State Senate primary

Sep 28, 2012
Omar Fetouh/WBFO News

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."

Mike Desmond/WBFO

Somewhat predictably, a close State Senate primary race is now working its way through the courts.

State Senator Tim Kennedy and County Legislature Chair Betty Jean Grant are locked in a struggle over who won the newly re-districted seat, with at least two more days of legal wrangling going on.

On Wednesday, Grant went back to court seeking a ballot by ballot count from the election, claiming the voting machines didn't count some ballots for her and the legal fight at the Board of Elections is costing her votes with Kennedy less than 300 votes ahead.

WBFO News photos

Erie County Board of Elections workers are preparing for the final ballot count in the New York State 63rd Senate race which remains undecided even as more ballots come in.

On Primary Night, the race between State Senator Tim Kennedy and County Legislature Chair Betty Jean Grant seesawed back and forth, winding up with Kennedy unofficially 271 votes ahead.

Democratic Elections Commissioner Dennis Ward says the current margin is 91 votes and there are more than 1,200 votes to be counted.

The race for the 63rd State Senate seat is even tighter than first thought. Incumbent Tim Kennedy now holds a 91-vote lead over challenger Betty Jean Grant. The two Democrats faced off in Thursday's primary.

The Buffalo News reports the new vote total was based on data from memory sticks from each voting machine that were examined by the Board of Elections Friday afternoon. Kennedy was initially ahead by 271 votes before the new numbers came in. There are still more than 1,000 absentee votes to be counted.

Photo from NYS Thruway Authority Website

The New York State Thruway Authority is proposing a 45% toll hike for commercial traffic.  Many are already speaking out against it.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has defended the increase saying it is "needed" to deal with escalating maintenance costs.  Unshackle Upstate says the increase would hurt the trucking industry. 

The first of three public hearings will be held Thursday night in Buffalo.  One local leader is vowing a fight. 

"My position is very clear on the issue of increasing tolls. We are dead set against it," said State Senator Tim Kennedy of Buffalo. 

File Photo / WBFO News

An announcement scheduled for later today will disclose that a Buffalo-based healthcare provider will be participating in the Medicaid Health Homes program.

Senator Tim Kennedy will be at the Urban Family Practice on Niagara Street in Buffalo to introduce the state program that will ensure that health care services are available for underserved communities.

Funding for the program was approved in the state budget.
 

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