Walczyk Is Unofficial Winner Over Jenne In Assembly RacePosted: Updated:
In the hotly contested race for the 116th Assembly district, Republican challenger Mark Walczyk is the unofficial winner over incumbent Democrat Addie Jenne.
Walczyk, a member of Watertown City Council, took 55 percent of the vote to Jenne's 45 percent with the majority of precincts reporting.
Walczyk beat Jenne in both Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.
Walczyk says he's excited and ready to represent the people of the 116th Assembly district in Albany.
He took the podium a little before 11 p.m. Tuesday and declared victory. He thanked his supporters and said he wants to get to work right away.
"Jobs is the number-one priority and making sure we have a friendlier business climate in New York," he said.
Walczyk unseated Jenne with 54 percent of the vote.
Although Jenne did not concede Tuesday night, saying she wanted to wait for all the votes come in.
"I've been proud to represent this area and work hand in hand with so many people in government, outside of government, constituents that I've been able to help, so it's been very rewarding," she said "All the votes have not been counted yet, but they will be in shortly."
Jenne found herself on the defensive in September when a truck she owned was linked to a burglary suspect, Nathan McElhone, who Jenne described as a close friend.
7 News also reported that Jenne had previously tried to steer development money toward McElhone, although that money never materialized and Jenne said she didn't know McElhone at that time.
"There's a lot of issues on voters' minds and I'm sure those are one of them," Walczyk said. "What I really want to focus on is the way forward and making a better business climate here in northern New York and representing the people who live here with pride."
Walczyk's victory means he will vacate his Watertown city council seat as of January.
He says he will call the other city council members Wednesday and talk to them about what the plan is going forward.
The 116th Assembly District is unique in that it's almost evenly split between registered Republicans and Democrats. It was expected to make for a close race.
Jenne had been looking for a sixth term. She represented the River District for 10 years.
In the past, Jenne has won, but not by much. In 2016, she won by 3,000 votes and by fewer than 100 in 2014.
It's unclear who will take over Walczyk's seat on city council.