WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – Democrat Leslie Danks Burke has conceded the 58th State Senate race to Republican incumbent Tom O’Mara.
Danks Burke had originally withheld from officially conceding as absentee votes were counted across the district.
According to the O’Mara campaign, the Republican received approximately 16,000 more votes than Danks Burke.
“While we must still ensure that every vote is counted and despite making significant gains on paper ballots, based on the numbers we have seen so far it is clear that we will not see the outcome we hoped for. And out of respect for the voters and the principles on which our democratic republic is founded, we accept this outcome for the next two years. But we do so knowing that the coming months will be among the most difficult our region has ever faced. Politics aside, we will need serious leadership, working full-time, and unbeholden to the special interests that dominate the power structure in Albany and Washington. So while I acknowledge that in this time of crisis more voters chose to stay the political course for our region, there are 55,000 voters who asked for more for our region than we have seen in previous years, and I wish Mr. O’Mara godspeed on the journey of serving all the voters of this district. The proud history of our Democratic party is the coalition of city residents, farmers, progressive populists, and union members put together by FDR to unite those left to struggle during the Great Depression, and I want to congratulate my fellow “rust belt” Democrat upstate Senate candidates — Senators-elect Samra Brouk, Sean Ryan, Jeremy Cooney, and hopefully Michelle Hinchey and John Mannion– who are now taking seats to bring Roosevelt’s principles of freedom from want and freedom from fear into the upstate-downstate conversation. I thank my campaign team that put together a truly unprecedented and outstanding campaign, my friends and, most especially, my dear husband and children who have been with me down this long path, and all my supporters who put their time and herculean efforts into helping our region grow and thrive again. When the final votes are counted, of course, this election will be done, but their work is only a precursor to what will come, and I know they are all committed to making the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes the very best it can be. Today’s results are a disappointment, yet we know that this is a long game, and I am honored and look forward to all that we will achieve, together, in the coming months and years. As every ball player knows — Good game, good game! And I’ll see you on the field next time.”Leslie Danks Burke
State Senator O’Mara also released a statement following Danks Burke’s concession:
“I am proud to have brought together an ever-growing, broad coalition of support for building stronger and safer communities throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, for protecting our way of life and the Upstate values we share, and for saying no to a future of one-party control of New York State government. Voters responded to our positive message of sticking together, rebuilding our communities and local economies, and restoring a true, long-term voice for Upstate, rural New York. We have rallied together like never before this year in the face of COVID-19. We always have and we always will keep fighting for local business owners and manufacturers, workers and taxpayers, and families and seniors. Most importantly now, we will remain unified in our commitment to help communities recover and rebuild in ways that will restore this region better than ever moving forward. I am honored by the overwhelming support this campaign generated in the 58th District.”Tom O’Mara