New York State Democrats held a press conference on Long Island on Tuesday, touting Democratic Senator Kevin Thomas’ win.
“We knew this red mirage would turn out to be a blue ocean,” State Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs declared.
Senator Thomas was one of several State Senate Democrats, trailing behind his opponent on election night. However, the majority of absentee ballots returned for the Long Island seat supported the Democratic State Senator in his re-election bid.
As of late Monday, Thomas led with 72,284 votes compared to his Republican opponent Dennis Dunne's 70,857. This led Thomas to declare victory and for Dunne to concede.
“This election was the most important election of our lifetime. Nothing could be take for granted this time around,” Thomas emphasized during the press conference.
“The wait to open these absentee ballots was agonizing and I found myself pacing around, counting with my fingers and in my head, whether I would win or not. But this agonizing wait brought some good news.”
Dunne sent a statement congratulating Thomas on his win late Monday.
"The Senate race in the 6th District was a hard-fought contest, and I am proud of the campaign that we ran. I addressed the issues that are important to neighbors on Long Island and across our state, including public safety and taxes," Dunne said in a statement. "At the same time, the voters have spoken, and I respect their decision. I extend my best wishes to Kevin Thomas as he embarks upon his second term in the New York State Senate."
State Democrats feel that this win with Thomas is the first of a few close Senate races that showed early Republican leads on election night.
Republican state leaders held a press conference the day after the election, touting their early leads, which Democrats called a “red mirage.”
Still, State Senate Democrats will have to collect a majority of absentee ballots for a few key Senate races if they want to achieve a supermajority that would give them veto-proof power.
However, Democrats are hopeful pointing to the race for Senator James Gaughran, who is currently trailing his Republican opponent Edmund Smyth by 13,844 votes after election night. Yet, more than 43,000 absentee ballots were cast in that race.