Incumbent Says He Will Wait for Absentee Ballots to Be Counted
It ain’t over until every last vote is counted.
Perhaps taking a page out of the late New York Yankee great Yogi Berra’s playbook, Republican state Sen. Marty Golden is adopting an “It ain’t over until it’s over” stance over the results of the Nov. 6 election that he apparently lost to Democrat Andrew Gounardes.
On Nov. 13, seven days after Election Day, Golden was still refusing to concede the contest to his rival.
The final count on Nov. 6 had Gounardes winning the seat representing the 22nd Senate District by more than 1,000 votes, 31,168 votes to Golden’s 30,039 with 100 percent of the precincts reporting.
But on Election Night, Golden, who first won the Senate seat in 2002, defiantly told hundreds of his supporters who had gathered in the ballroom of the Bay Ridge Manor, “We are not done.”
That night, and in the days after, Golden and his campaign pointed out that there were still 3,000 absentee ballots that remained to be counted.
“There’s a process in place to count every vote, and both sides in this campaign are working through that process,” Golden campaign spokesperson Michael Tobman told this newspaper on Nov. 13.
“Certainly if roles were reversed, Mr. Gounardes would be saying the same,” Tobman added.
The Board of Elections was accepting absentee ballots via mail through Nov. 13. The board planned to start counting those ballots on Nov. 14. It’s unclear how long the counting process will take.
If Gounardes is annoyed at the lack of a concession from Golden, he isn’t showing it.
In response to an inquiry from this newspaper, his campaign sent a statement that hinted at the candidate’s patience in the matter.
“Elections are the cornerstone of our democracy and our campaign is committed to seeing the process through to the end,” the statement read in part.
The Gounardes camp also expressed optimism that he will ultimately win the day.
“We are confident that the Board of Elections will certify our victory and look forward to coordinating with Senator Golden to facilitate a smooth transition. In the interim, we are moving forward and working with Senate Democratic Leadership to ensure that Team Gounardes can hit the ground running on day one,” the statement read.
The 22nd Senate District takes in a large swath of Southwest Brooklyn, including parts of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach.
Gounardes, who declared victory on Election Night at a party packed with jubilant supporters at Cebu Restaurant in Bay Ridge, took a leave of absence from his job as chief counsel to Borough President Eric Adams to run for the Senate seat.
This was the second time Gounardes challenged Golden. He ran against Golden in 2012 and lost. But Gounardes earned more votes in Bay Ridge, the heart of the district, that year than Golden. The strong showing impressed many political observers and might have planted the seeds for his win last week.
Golden, a retired New York City police officer and former owner of the Bay Ridge Manor, entered politics in 1997, winning a City Council seat representing Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and parts of Bensonhurst. In 2002, he ran for state Senate and won.
Golden had not lost an election in 21 years. His streak of good luck was apparently broken by Gounardes last week.