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Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Rep. Tenney wins GOP primary 
for GLOW's new 24th District

U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney held off a Republican primary challenge on Tuesday to advance to the general election for the new 24th Congressional District seat that includes much of the GLOW region. Tenney, R-Utica, led lawyer Mario Fratto of Geneva by 17,277 to 12,988 votes with 90% of the election districts counted, according to unofficial returns from the state Board of Elections. That’s a 53.4% to 40.2% edge.
George Phillips, a teacher from Endicott Broome County, also appeared on the Republican primary ballot but did not actively campaign for the seat. He had almost 2,000 votes, or 5.9%. All vote totals recorded now are unofficial, until the state and county elections boards certify the results, likely in a week.

The new 24th District includes all of Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming counties and the southern part of Orleans County. In total the sprawling district covers all or parts of 12 counties, stretching from Niagara County in western New York east and north into part of Jefferson County in northern New York.

In the four-county GLOW region, Tenney received 55.0% of the vote to Fratto’s 39.3%. Phillips received 5.7%, according to unofficial results from the boards of elections in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

A total of 8,043 votes were cast in the GLOW region for the primary. Tenney totaled 4,424 votes to Fratto’s 3,158. Phillips received 456 votes. There were 27 write-in votes, according to data from the county’s boards of elections.

Among individual GLOW counties, Tenney’s closest outcome was in Genesee County, which she won by 108 votes or 1,162 to Fratto’s 1,054.

Fratto defeated Tenney in several Genesee County towns, including Bergen (91 to 60 votes), Bethany (53 to 49), Byron (79 to 39), Elba (53 to 35), Le Roy (120 to 97), and Pavilion (45 to 44). Fratto lost to Tenney in the town of Batavia by one vote, 137 to 138, according to unofficial results.

Totals for individual communities in Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties were not available on Tuesday night.

Individual results, all unofficial, for the GLOW counties are:

n Genesee County: Tenney, 1,162 votes, 49.9%; Fratto, 1,054 votes, 45.3%; Phillips, 107 votes, 4.6%; 5 write-in votes.

n Livingston County: Tenney, 1,633 votes, 56.3%; Fratto, 1,088 votes, 37.5%; Phillips, 189 votes, 6.5%; 14 write-in votes.

n Orleans County: Tenney, 564 votes, 62.9%; Fratto, 277 votes, 30.9%; Phillips, 52 votes, 5.8%; 3 write-in votes.

n Wyoming County: Tenney, 1,065 votes, 55.6%; Fratto, 739 votes, 38.5%; Phillips, 108 votes, 5.6%; 5 write-in votes.

Voter turnout was expected to be low. The 8,043 total votes cast in the Republican primary in the four counties represent 14.1% of the total number of active registered Republicans in the GLOW region as of Feb. 21, according to the state Board of Elections.

Tenney will now face Democrat Steven Holden in the November election in a district with voter enrollment that tilts heavily to Republicans. Tenney also will appear on the Conservative Party ballot line.

Tenney, 61, is finishing her second term in Congress, representing the existing 22nd Congressional District, which includes her home in Oneida County.

After redistricting merged Syracuse and Utica into a new four-county district that’s favorable to Democrats, Tenney decided to campaign instead in the 24th District.

Tenney recently moved from her home in Oneida County to a rented home in Canandaigua in Ontario County within the new district.

Holden resides in Camillus in Onondaga County, outside of the district. He has promised to move to Oswego County if elected in November.

During the primary campaign, Fratto, 37, accused Tenney of being a carpetbagger who abandoned her district to run for a seat that’s safer for Republicans.

Fratto also called Tenney a RINO - a Republican in name only - and said she wasn’t conservative enough to represent the district.

Tenney won the endorsement of former President Donald Trump and had a big financial advantage in the campaign. She spent more than $2.5 million through Aug. 3, according to Federal Election Commission records. Fratto spent about $133,000 during the same period.

Tribune News Service contributed to this report.

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