WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - With votes in 100 percent of precincts counted in New York’s 116th Assembly District race, incumbent Mark Walczyk is the unofficial winner.
Watch the video above for what aired live during our late Tuesday night broadcast. In the video below, 7 News reporter Emily Griffin recaps the race.
Republican Mark Walczyk has 28,216 votes and his Democratic challenger, Alex Hammond, has 13,564. That’s 68 to 32 percent.
This is Walczyk’s second run for Assembly after defeating Addie Jenne in 2018. Before that, he served on Watertown’s city council.
Hammond is Waddington’s town supervisor, a job he has held since 2018.
Walczyk and his supporters watched the numbers come in at the Paddock Arcade in Watertown, while Hammond looked on with his team in Potsdam.
Jefferson County Republican Party chair Don Coon watched with Walczyk as the percentages turned to his favor.
“When you look at some of the things that have passed in the last two years, I think it’s clear that we need a buffer between us and the progressive agenda that’s going on in Albany right now,” Coon said.
Hammond, along with his friends and family, kept their spirits high with music throughout the night.
Alex has done what he can and I just want to say kudos to both boys for running a clean campaign," Hammond’s father, Brian.
As the numbers continued to reflect a win for Walczyk, he made an acceptance speech just after 11 p.m.
“Whether you cast your ballot for me or not in this election, I want to thank you for participating,” Walczyk said.
Hammond called Walczyk concede shortly after. He says he hopes Walczyk can take ideas from his campaign and fix issues Hammond was planning to fix.
“At the end of the day, we really brought up issues everyone faces in this district and I’m really proud of that,” Hammond said.
Walczyk says he’s excited to continue working in Albany.
“We’re going to be tackling a serious budget with a giant deficit coming up in January and yeah, we have a lot of work to do,” he said.
As for Hammond, he will remain in politics, continuing to serve as Waddington town supervisor.
The district, commonly known as the River District, encompasses much of Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.
In Jefferson County, it includes Watertown, Hounsfield, Lyme, Cape Vincent, Pamelia, Orleans, Clayton, Philadelphia, Antwerp, Theresa, and Alexandria.
In St. Lawrence County, the district includes Rossie, Hammond, Macomb, DePeyster, Morristown, Oswegatchie, Lisbon, Canton, Potsdam, Waddington, Louisville, Massena, and Ogdensburg.
There are nearly 70,000 registered voters in the district, split fairly evenly between Democrats and Republicans.
A little over 10,000 absentee ballots were returned as of Election Day. They’re on schedule to be counted next week.