Republicans just picked up another seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
A New York judge has thrown out an election challenge brought by Democrats, certifying Republican candidate Claudia Tenney the winner of New York’s 22nd District, The Hill reported.
The legal challenge
The race for New York’s 22nd District between Tenney and Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), was extremely close, with reports indicating that Tenney led Brindisi by only 109 votes.
Democrats had sought to challenge the vote count with a familiar argument: that the voting machines in one county undercounted a significant number of votes for Brindisi.
Leading the legal challenge was attorney Marc Elias, the well-known Democrat-aligned lawyer who commissioned the infamous Steele dossier that was at the center of the anti-Trump Russian collusion hoax. Elias brought a lawsuit on Brindisi’s behalf, asking a judge to order a hand recount of the roughly 325,000 votes that were cast in the race.
New York Supreme Court Judge Scott J. DelConte rejected Elias’s argument in a decision that was handed down on Friday, Fox News reported.
“No votes cast by dead people were counted,” DelConte wrote in the decision. “The only claim of voter fraud … was rejected on its face for insufficient proof.”
DelConte continued, “There are no unresolved discrepancies with the machine counts from the Boards’ December canvasses, and there were no discrepancies with the machine counts in the manual audit tallies from the Boards’ November canvasses.”
DelConte, thus, ordered New York’s election board to certify Tenney as the winner of the state’s 22nd District.
Brindisi was the incumbent candidate, having taken the 22nd district seat away from Tenney in 2018. Now the seat is back in Republican hands, which means that Democrats have an even smaller margin over Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives at 221 to 212.
That already very narrow gap will likely get even narrower with some Democratic states like New York set to lose representatives as a result of their major population decline.
Although this will still not be enough to give Republicans a majority, they are set up nicely to take back the House in the 2022 midterm elections.