Many in the Democratic Party — particularly House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — had high hopes ahead of November’s election that their congressional majority would increase substantially.
Those aspirations did not pan out, however, and if a recent court ruling stands, the GOP can expect to gain one more seat in the House.
“A proven fighter”
As Pelosi clings to a slim advantage over Republicans, a New York judge has ruled that Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi has been defeated by GOP challenger Claudia Tenney. According to Breitbart, Tenney, who previously served in the state legislature, was first elected to the U.S. House in 2016 only to be narrowly defeated by Brindisi two years later.
The news of her apparent victory elicited celebration from top officials in her party, including National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer.
In a statement on the matter, Emmer wrote: “Congratulations to Claudia Tenney on her victory in New York’s 22nd District. Claudia is a proven fighter for upstate New York who will pick up right where she left off delivering bipartisan solutions for her district.”
He went on to add that he is “delighted to welcome Claudia back to Washington” and is looking forward to once again being her colleague on Capitol Hill.
Fellow Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik also recognized the good news, directing a congratulatory tweet at Tenney.
“A full audit and hand recount”
Declaring it the “year of the Republican Woman,” Stefanik wrote that all “legal votes have been counted” and Tenney is the winner. The congresswoman denounced what she deemed “desperate antics” by Democrats, noting that it has “been over two months” since the election and the time has come to certify Tenney’s win.
For his part, Brindisi was unsurprisingly less enthusiastic, even blaming supposed election irregularities for playing a role in the outcome.
“I am shocked and surprised by this decision because of the countless errors and discrepancies that have occurred throughout this initial count,” he wrote. “I believe a full audit and hand recount is the only way to resolve this case.”
The Democrat is planning to appeal the ruling. If he is unsuccessful, his party’s majority in the House will shrink to just nine members.
That development is sure to disappoint Pelosi, who predicted in October that Democrats “intend to hold the House and grow our numbers” in the election.