Decision 2020

A Look at New York's Top Undecided Races

Clear victories declared Wednesday included the election of Democrat Mondaire Jones; he will join New York City Council Member Ritchie Torres as the first two openly gay Black people in Congress.

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Election Day brought clarity for some contests, but many of New York's most-watched races for Congress and the state legislature remained undecided Wednesday, thanks largely to a record number of ballots cast by mail.

In congressional races, a handful of Republican candidates were within striking distance of dethroning Democratic incumbents, though large numbers of absentee ballots could quickly tip the scales once they are counted.

Clear victories declared Wednesday included the election of Democrat Mondaire Jones, a 33-year-old lawyer who prevailed in a suburban district north of New York City. Jones will join New York City Council Member Ritchie Torres as the first two openly gay Black people in Congress.

Torres, who will represent part of the Bronx, was declared the winner in his race Tuesday.

In other races, Democrats were close to gaining a supermajority in the state Legislature, needing to pick up two seats in the Senate for that to happen.

The Working Families Party, a minor party that has supported liberal Democrats, said its candidates had gotten enough votes to avoid losing its automatic spot on future ballots.

But with more than 1.2 million ballots cast by mail, closely contested races could take weeks to decide. Under state rules, the counting of those absentee ballots will not begin for at least several days, or up to a week.

With six states still yet to be called, neither President Donald Trump nor former Vice President Joe Biden has the 270 electoral votes needed to win. NBC New York's Andrew Siff reports.

Here's a look at some races that remain undecided:

HOUSE 1: Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin declared victory in his bid for a fourth term, though The Associated Press has not yet declared a winner in the race. Zeldin is trying to fend off a challenge on eastern Long Island from Democrat Nancy Goroff, a chemistry professor who took a leave from Stony Brook University to seek elective office for the first time.

HOUSE 2: Republican Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino had a double-digit lead at the end of Election Night over Democrat Jackie Gordon in a race to succeed U.S. Rep. Pete King in a contest on Long Island's South Shore. Democrats had poured money into Gordon's campaign, hoping to snatch a seat long in Republican hands.

HOUSE 3: Democratic U.S. Rep. Thomas Suozzi, who is seeking his third term, was neck-and-neck with Republican George Santos, a Queens-born child of Brazilian immigrants who is now a director at a wealth management firm. Suozzi was trailing Santos by about 4,000 votes, but the incumbent said he was confident in a victory, saying 'there are 90,000 absentee ballots, of which 51 percent are registered Democrats."

HOUSE 11: By the end of the night Tuesday, Republican Nicole Malliotakis had a nearly 16-point lead over Democratic U.S. Rep. Max Rose, who is seeking his second term in a district on Staten Island and part of Brooklyn. Malliotakis declared victory a little over an hour after polls closed, but The Associated Press has not yet called a winner in the race. Rose said it was too early to declare a winner, but did not offer comment on Wednesday.

Rose still trailed by more than 36,000 votes, but refused to concede as more than 40,000 absentee ballots still remain. Malliotakis agreed that the ballots should be counted, saying that "we want to make sure all the votes are counted, but we feel comfortable that we have such a large lead that it's almost impossible to surpass the numbers we achieved last night

HOUSE 19: U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado held a narrow lead over Republican Kyle Van De Water, a military veteran trying to deny the Democrat a second term representing a district stretching from New York City’s northern suburbs to rural counties near Albany. Van De Water, 40, has run on a platform supporting President Donald Trump.

HOUSE 22: Former Republican U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney had a nearly 11 point lead over U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi at the end of Election Day. If she wins, it would be sweet revenge against the Democrat who ousted her from office in 2018. The large number of absentee ballots cast in New York, though, placed the contest among those too difficult to call. The first matchup between the candidates two years ago took weeks to decide.

HOUSE 24: Republican U.S. Rep. John Katko had a roughly 55,000 vote lead at the end of Tuesday over Democrat Dana Balter. The two candidates also faced off in 2018. Katko is seeking a fourth term in a central New York district that includes the city of Syracuse.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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