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Top rival concedes to Trump-backed Staten Island candidate in GOP primary for borough president

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 7/7/2021 Daniel Chaitin
Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

Victory is near for the candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump in Staten Island's Republican primary for bureau president.

The third round of unofficial ranked-choice results from the June 22 contest released Tuesday evening, the first including absentee votes, showed Vito Fossella holding a narrow lead with 9,306 votes (50.8%).

That was enough for his closest rival, Steven Matteo, to concede the race after getting 9,016 votes (49.2%).

"The Board of Elections released their updated vote count tonight, which included absentee ballots. Unfortunately, while it was extremely close, it has become clear that the lead Vito Fossella has built up with absentee ballots is insurmountable and he will be the Republican nominee for Borough President. I would like to congratulate him on a hard-fought election," the New York City Council minority leader said in a statement.

The results released on Tuesday are not final, and it is unclear how many absentee ballots were included. But the other two candidates in the GOP primary were nowhere close and were labeled as "eliminated" by the board of elections.

Fossella declared himself the victor and gave special thanks to Trump, noting he had "the honor" of speaking to the former president Tuesday evening.

“Tonight, I am humbled and honored to once again represent the people of Staten Island as the Republican nominee for public office,” Fossella said in a statement. “This comeback would not have been possible without the amazing support of so many people, in particular, President Donald J. Trump.”

Trump, a longtime resident of New York City, released a statement of his own, painting Fossella as the eventual winner of the general election in the Republican bastion.

"Congratulations to Vito Fossella on winning the Republican Primary for Borough President of Staten Island. Now onto victory against a Radical Left Democrat. Vito will be representing the greatest people on Earth, and he will never let you down. I love Staten Island!" Trump said.

Fossella is a former member of the U.S. House from 1997 to 2009 who decided not to seek reelection in 2008 after admitting to an extramarital affair.

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Mark Murphy, who pledged to "rebrand Staten Island," holds a commanding lead in the Democratic primary. But he faces long odds in November.

If Murphy were to emerge victorious, he would be the first Democrat elected to the position since 1989, according to the Staten Island Advance.

The New York City election process has been mired in controversy after the city’s board of elections acknowledged releasing erroneous preliminary results from its new ranked-choice voting system in the Democratic primary in the mayoral race, after which other results got delayed with the agency performing "quality assurance."

Tags: News, New York City, New York, Election, Elections, Donald Trump

Original Author: Daniel Chaitin

Original Location: Top rival concedes to Trump-backed Staten Island candidate in GOP primary for borough president

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