Challenger Justin Wagner has conceded the election to state Sen. Greg Ball.
Wagner issued the following statement on the resolution to the campaign for State Senate in the 40th District:
“I want to congratulate Senator Ball on a hard-fought victory in this election and wish him the best in representing our community. While absentee ballots are still being counted, information from the Board of Elections indicates that the number of outstanding ballots does not give me a realistic path to victory, and I do not think a protracted litigation would best serve the interests of the Hudson Valley.
"Despite an incredible campaign and strong grassroots support, we have come up a little short, ending up with approximately 49% of the vote. I’m proud of the issues-based campaign that we ran, and I want to thank the voters for engaging in a lively discussion about the issues – from raising the minimum wage, to standing up for reproductive health, to reforming our campaign finance system, to enacting common sense gun safety laws, to moving forward with substantive property tax relief. We fought for issues that impact middle class families in New York, and I will continue to do that as a private citizen.”
In conceding, Wagner also responded to Senator Ball’s repeated tweets about having a beer:
“Greg – we definitely should have that beer. Let’s do it at a great Hudson Valley local business like the Peekskill Brewery. First round is on me!”
His concession will change the process of tallying absentee and other ballots in the race. A court-ordered recount begins next Tuesday.
Ball, the incumbent, was leading his challenger by more than 3,000 total votes in the sprawling, three-county 40th Senate District before machines in 10 Westchester municipalities were impounded, reportedly at Ball’s request, on Election Day. Wagner, a Croton Democrat, had piled up a 3,700-vote margin over Ball in Westchester-only returns. In addition, more than 6,000 absentee ballots and an unknown number of affidavit and emergency ballots from the county must still be counted.
“We’ll start [counting] next Tuesday,” Westchester Elections Commissioner Reginald LaFayette said. “Hopefully, we’ll be finished [in time for a Nov. 30 appearance before state Supreme Court Justice Francesca E. Connolly]”.
A Patterson Republican, Ball piled up big margins in Putnam, his home county, and in neighboring Dutchess, offsetting Wagner’s strong showing in Westchester.
Although Wagner jumped out to a comfortable lead in Westchester voting, 44,509 to 40,778, on Election Day, Ball opened up a still-bigger gap in the two upstate counties. His combined 19,902 votes in Putnam and Dutchess (vs. Wagner’s 12,947) netted the incumbent a voting-machine margin in all three counties of 3,224.
Westchester officials begin counting 6,285 absentee ballots next week, as well as an unknown—but far smaller—number of other ballots; history suggests the results will largely follow the machine-registered trends.