Republican Bob Antonacci claimed a victory Tuesday night after the highly contested state Senate 50th district race resulted in his 2.43 percent lead over Democratic challenger John Mannion— but Mannion has yet to concede, waiting for the absentee ballots to be counted.
Antonacci, the county’s comptroller, earned 58,694 votes, or 50.42 percent, compared to Mannion, an AP biology teacher at West Genesee High School, earning 55,865 votes, or 47.99 percent. The 50th district includes most of Onondaga County and the western half of Syracuse, including Skaneateles, Pompey and Van Buren.
“The bottom line is I’m going to work hard, I’m going to talk to anybody who wants to talk about moving good policy to move New York state forward,” said Antonacci to his supporters, campaign staff and volunteers Tuesday night at his election party, according to a local radio station. “I’ll work with Democrats in New York City.”
Mannion also addressed his supporters Election night, explaining how there will be “a lot of good, meaningful legislation that’s going to get through the New York State Senate,” according to a local radio station.
“It’s going to help many people – people who don’t have a voice,” he said.
This was the first time in 26 years the seat has been open, and was recently vacated by Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-DeWitt, who announced his retirement last April.
Neither Antonacci nor Mannion have released official statements as of Thursday.
Antonacci has worn many hats professionally as a certified public accountant and attorney. Leading up to his electoral victory, Antonacci was most recently serving as the elected comptroller of Onondaga County. He is now serving his second term.
Mannion is a science teacher in the West Genesee school district, who recently took an unpaid leave of absence in the final weeks of the campaign, but said he plans to return to the classroom soon. Mannion has been an educator for 25 years, teaching advance placement courses in biology at West Genesee. He has also served as the West Genesee Teachers’ Association president for the past five years, along with being a member of the Onondaga County Teachers’ Association.
Both candidates ran on issues ranging from healthcare to education the economy and ethics reform.
Jason Gabak contributed to this report.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.