A tidal wave of absentee ballots has swept embattled Democratic state senators back into office — enabling them to overcome substantial deficits with their Republican rivals in the machine count on Election Day.
Sens. Andrew Gounardes of Brooklyn and James Gaughran of Long Island both emerged victorious after tough challenges from their GOP opponents, who were in the lead by thousands of votes on Election Day.
Gounardes trailed GOP rival Vito Bruno about 6,000 votes in the machine count.
But Gournardes, a first-term Democrat representing the 22nd district in southern Brooklyn that includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Marine Park, was up by 1,800 votes over Bruno after scooping up more than three-quarters of the 12,744 mail-in ballots.
“It is the honor of my life to serve my community, and today as the remaining votes are counted, I am enormously grateful to the neighborhoods of southern Brooklyn for re-electing me to represent them in the State Senate. I will go back to Albany and continue to fight for our community while always remembering the values we share together: to help our neighbors in need and do what is right no matter what,” Gournades said in a statement.
Said Brooklyn Democratic chairwoman Rodneyse Bichotte, “We were confident of our voters in these elections who would not let the challenges of the pandemic keep them from expressing their will at the ballot box. Brooklyn will remain blue and we look forward to making the results official!”
Meanwhile, top Democratic leaders gathered on Long Island Wednesday afternoon, congratulating Gaughran (D-Suffolk) on his reelection.
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