Claudia Tenney, Anthony Brindisi Playing Text-Tag Over Concession
New York rep and Democratic challenger exchanged messages, but not spoken in the week after final vote count
Despite a back-and-forth string of texts trying to set up a phone conversation, Rep. Claudia Tenney has still not conceded to her Democratic challenger, Anthony Brindisi, a week after losing her re-election bid to him.
Brindisi told Syracuse.com that he and Tenney have exchanged text messages trying to establish a time to chat, but they have not spoken since before Election Day.
The incoming Democratic freshman defeated Tenney by roughly 4,000 votes in New York’s 22nd District.
Tenney, who ran one of the most pro-Trump campaigns of any vulnerable House Republican, texted Brindisi again on Tuesday to set up a time to concede, a tradition in U.S. politics that does not technically need to happen for an election to be official.
“I’m in D.C. all week, so let me know when you get a break in orientation,” Tenney texted Tuesday morning, Brindisi told Syracuse.com. Brindisi is also in Washington at new member orientation sessions and to vote on Democratic caucus leadership for the 116th Congress.
Tenney first reached out on Friday, but Brindisi was away celebrating Thanksgiving and his 40th birthday.
Brindisi offered to call Tenney on Sunday but did not hear back until the text message Tuesday.
In a radio interview last Wednesday, Tenney appeared to accept that she had lost when she trailed by roughly 4,000 votes with under 2,000 absentee ballots left to count.
“I don’t think we have a chance of prevailing,” Tenney told WUTQ-FM in Utica, New York. But she wanted to wait until all the votes were counted to formally concede so that everyone who voted felt they had a voice, she said.
She added that she would “of course” find time to speak with Brindisi.
“I haven’t had a chance to speak to Anthony yet,” she said at the time. “Of course we will. My office will do everything it can to coordinate with him and make sure he has a smooth transition.”
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