Republican Vito Bruno has an 8-point lead over first-term Democratic State Senator Andrew Gounardes in the 22nd District.
As of 1:25 a.m. Wednesday, with 97.44 percent of scanners reporting, Bruno had 53.95 percent of the vote (40,621) and Gounardes had 45.94 percent (34,586).
The district includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach and Marine Park.
“I want to thank everyone who voted and participated in the democratic process,” Bruno said. “We are ahead by more than 6,000 votes and have 54 percent of the vote. I am humbled by the outcome so far. I am confident that once all of the ballots are counted, we will maintain our lead and emerge victorious. I look forward to getting to work right away on so many important issues affecting our communities.”
Gounardes told supporters during a Zoom meeting that the race is far from over and there are 13,000 absentee ballots to be counted.
“We are still going to wait for a couple of polls to come in in areas that we have done very well in and have still not reported, and once those numbers show up, we will have a sense of where we stand,” Gounardes said.
“The bottom line here, just like every other election, is we want to make sure every vote is counted, and for those of you who are veterans of team Gounardes, we know that we’ve been through this before, you know that in 2018 we had to wait about two weeks before we were able to certify our election. We had to go to paper. We had to make sure that every vote is counted then and we have to make sure that every vote is counted now.”
According to the New York Post, under state law, the Board of Elections cannot begin to tally the absentee ballots until after Election Day. Officials say they plan to begin the count Monday.
During a recent debate, Bruno said he was running to fight skyrocketing crime and high taxes.
“Two years ago, Senator Gounardes came here and asked people to raise their hands and fired off a litany of complaints,” Bruno said. “How’s your commute? Is it better? Higher rents. Higher taxes. And he made a bunch of promises that, if he were elected, he would do something. Well, it’s two years later. Is your life better?”
Gounardes, who defeated longtime State Senator Marty Golden two years ago, was optimistic about his chances for a second term.
“We are still in a really good position here and we are just going to keep pulling on through and keep watching those numbers as they keep trickling in,” he said. “It ain’t over ’till it’s over, and anyone who goes on social media and claims victory, we tell them the same.”
UPDATE: This article has been updated to include a statement by Vito Bruno.