The Corner

Elections

It’s February, and New York’s 22nd District Still Doesn’t Have a Representative

The U.S. House of Representatives has held 18 recorded votes so far this year. Three seats remain vacant. In Louisiana’s fifth district, Republican congressman-elect Luke Letlow died December 29, 2020, of COVID-19 before assuming office. In Louisiana’s second district, Representative Cedric Richmond resigned his office January 15 to become the director of the Biden administration’s Office of Public Engagement. Both Louisiana seats will be filled in a special election March 20; if no candidate wins a majority, the top two finishers will head to a runoff held April 24.

In Iowa, Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks won by six votes and was sworn in on January 3. Her Democratic opponent, Rita Hart, insists that 22 votes were not counted and that she won by nine votes. Hart filed a petition with the U.S. House to unseat Miller-Meeks and to seat herself instead.

And then there is New York’s 22nd district, where Republican Claudia Tenney has effectively won, but is still unable to be sworn in:

State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte on Monday decided to delay the results of the 22nd Congressional District race for about another week to allow debate on this question:

If the wrong person gets sent to Congress, what can be done about it?

DelConte, overseeing the last undecided congressional race in the country, made the decision to prolong the race even more after a last-minute challenge from Democrat Anthony Brindisi, who is fighting to keep the House seat from Republican Claudia Tenney.

At last count, Tenney led Brindisi by 122 votes of more than 316,000 cast for the two candidates. She appeared to pick up a handful more Monday morning during a court-ordered examination of several ballots that hadn’t yet been reviewed.

Right now, House Democrats enjoy a 221 to 211 majority. A Republican is extremely likely to win in Louisiana’s fifth district, and a Democrat is extremely likely to win in the second district. Thus, when Tenney is seated and the two Louisiana seats are resolved, the Democrats will have a 222 to 213 majority. Republicans will be aiming to win pick up at least five more seats in the 2022 midterms.

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