While U.S. Rep. Thomas W. Reed II, R-Corning, won re-election Tuesday, New York State will send fewer Republicans to Congress next year.
Currently, the state’s 29-member delegation to the House of Representatives has eight Republicans. But New York lost two congressional districts as a result of the 2010 census, because the state lagged in population growth over the last decade.
When the dust settled Wednesday, it looked as though New York will send six Republicans to Washington, D.C., rather than eight. Nearly all were incumbents who won re-election.
They are: Reed; Peter T. King of Nassau County; Michael Grimm of Staten Island; Richard Hanna of Barneveld; Christopher Gibson of Kinderhook; and Chris Collins of Clarence, who defeated incumbent Democrat Kathleen C. Hochul of Hamburg.
While Collins joins New York’s House Republicans club, the group loses Ann Marie Buerkle. The tea-party-backed Buerkle will surrender her Central New York district to Democrat Daniel Maffei, who won about 48 percent of the vote to her 43 percent on Tuesday, according to unofficial results. A Green Party candidate collected the remainder.
So while Republicans used to make up nearly 28 percent of New York’s congressional delegation, they will comprise 22 percent come January. Nevertheless, Republicans will still control the House.
Reed, who sits on the influential Ways and Means Committee, won a second two-year term in the face of a stiff challenge from Democrat Nate Shinagawa, a Tompkins County legislator.
On the strength of votes from Democratic-leaning Tompkins County, Shinagawa narrowly lost the newly drawn 23rd Congressional District, 52 percent to 48 percent, according to unofficial results compiled by the Associated Press.
The new district was drawn to retain its Southern Tier flavor, and it still leans Republican. But the addition of Tompkins County, and Shinagawa’s strong showing, could mean that the 23rd is in play for Democrats for years to come.
“It was a supposedly ‘Safe R’ seat,” Shinagawa tweeted to his supporters Wednesday, “but we lost by just 48-51 despite being outspent 3 to 1. Thank you all for helping us get so close!”
While Shinagawa won 70 percent of the vote in Tompkins County, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 ratio, Reed won every other county in the district, which covers all or part of 11 counties.
In Reed’s win column were Chemung, Chautauqua, Allegany. Cattaraugus, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga and Yates.