After eight months without a representative in New York State's upper chamber, 57th district residents elected George Borrello to succeed former Sen. Catharine Young as their voice in the New York State Senate.
According to unofficial election results, Borrello, the Republican Chautauqua County Executive, carried over 70 percent of the vote on Tuesday to defeat recent Cornell graduate and Democratic nominee Austin Morgan.
"I'm very proud of the cross-section of folks from all parties and those unaffiliated voters that supported me," Borrello said by phone late Tuesday night. "I feel that this is a strong mandate from the people of the 57th Senate district. I think they are frustrated and fed up with what they are seeing in Albany right now and I will go there and be their voice and work on behalf of their values and I will make sure that their voice is heard loud and clear in Albany."
Despite being elected to the minority, Borrello believes his bi-partisan work of the past will behoove him in helping to deliver for the district.
"I will do what I have done here in Chautauqua County as the county executive and even as a county legislator --- I'll work collaboratively to get things done," he said. "I will step beyond the normal role of the position that I have held, like I have in the past to get things done for the people. I've been told before, 'You're never going to get that done. That's impossible.' Time again, working with other people and setting goals, we've been able to do what others have said was impossible and I expect to do the same thing for the people of this district as their next state senator."
Reached by phone, Morgan did not take questions and chose instead to read from a prepared statement.
"We did not get the win we hoped for tonight," he said. "But I could not be more proud of the race we ran. Despite being heavily outspent by outside money, we gave thousands of voters the chance to choose hope rather than hate and vote for someone rather than against someone."
He added, "I wish George well in the Senate, and I hope for the people's sake that he is successful. Our farmers, our families and our future depend upon it."
Despite the loss, Morgan said he is optimistic about the future.
"We have built the beginning of a movement," he said. "We built a torch that will now be passed on to the next generation. Our work together has not been wasted and has changed many, many lives. I believe in this district. I believe in its people. Win or lose, we will continue to build a brighter future. One that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and powerful. Tonight, we hold our heads high from what we accomplished, knowing that we did not win this moment, we will win this era."
As of midnight, Borrello led Morgan 41,814 to 16,783 according to results from all of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Livingston counties, and with most of Allegany County in.
Borrello will take office on Jan. 1.
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