GLENS FALLS -- New York State's 20th Congressional district once again has a representative. State Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R-Schenectady) conceded the election late Friday afternoon, ending a month-long recount and making Scott Murphy (D-Glens Falls) the newest member of the U.S. Congress.
The victory gives the Democratic Party a key off-year victory in a hotly contested special election following Kirsten Gillibrand's (D-NY) appointment to the U.S. Senate.
Murphy observed his victory 90 minutes later by holding a press conference at Glens Falls' Centennial Circle.
"I look forward to rolling up my sleeves in Washington to bring jobs, opportunity, and prosperity back to Upstate New York," Murphy said in a prepared statement. "I'd like to thank President Obama and Vice President Biden for supporting my campaign and for their inspiring leadership for our country. I can't wait to start working with the President to deliver the urgently needed recovery funds to Upstate New York."
Murphy said that Obama had called him Friday and offered congratulations.
Election day had ended with a dead-heat, with some counts having the two candidates deadlocked, vote for vote. Tedisco had hoped for a strong showing with traditionally conservative military and absentee voters. But the votes just never came as Murphy's slim lead widened through the painstaking recount.
The latest vote tally has Murphy leading by 399 votes out of well over 77,000 as of April 24
"Scott's victory is a clear indication that Democrats, Independents, and Republicans across the country want to continue moving America in a new direction and reject the 'just say no' policies of Washington , D.C. Republicans," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a prepared statement.
The Republican National Committee had vowed to make the 20th seat the turning point in the battle for control of Washington. Instead, the victory only increases the Democratic stranglehold on Capital Hill.
Murphy, a venture capitalist, has been an ardent supporter of President Barack Obama's stimulus plan. Tedisco on the other hand, would never say whether or not he would have supported the measure.
"I would never vote for something I haven't completely read," Tedisco said in a recent interview.
The race cost Tedisco more than a lost election, as he was forced to resign as Assembly Minority Leader shortly after the adoption of the state budget in early April.
In recent days, many of his GOP counterparts have called for his concession after the AP reported the district was missing out on stimulus funding because of a lack of representation.
"I think Jim ran a quality campaign," State Assemblywoman Betty Little said recently.