Murphy Lead Over Tedisco Now at 86 Votes

Posted April 15, 2009 at 4:29pm

Democrat Scott Murphy was clinging to an 86-vote lead over Republican James Tedisco late Wednesday in the contested special election in New York’s 20th Congressional district.

Murphy’s lead was almost cut in half during the course of the day, as paper ballots were counted in Saratoga County, the largest in the 10-county upstate district and a Republican stronghold. Murphy, a venture capitalist, began the day with a 168-vote bulge over Tedisco, a state Assemblyman.

But the final result is still up in the air. According to the New York State Board of Elections, three counties have not completed the recanvass of paper ballots cast in the March 31 election and four have not completed counting ballots of military personnel sent in from overseas.

Both sides are girding for an extended and contentious recount, and legal challenges seem inevitable.

The winner of the contest will replace now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D), who was plucked from the House to fill a vacant Senate seat in late January.