On December 27, 2016, New York’s 22nd District Congresswoman-elect Claudia Tenney held an unofficial inauguration celebration at Vernon Downs, in Oneida County. The event was a thank you to the family, friends, and supporters of Tenney throughout her time as a member of the NY Assembly and her victory in the 2016 NY-22 election race.
The NY 22nd Congressional race was one of the most watched races in the nation. It was contested on both the Democrat and Republican tickets, with a 3rd Party candidate in the mix as well. At one point the total number of candidates vying for the seat were 4 Republicans, 2 Democrats, and 1 Independent. After the NY Primaries, the race remained competitive with a Democrat Kim Myers, Reform candidate Martin Babinec, and Republican Claudia Tenney. The election results were decisive.
Babinec received just 12.4% (34,638), Myers got 41.1% (114,266), and Tenney won with 46.5% (129,444) of all votes. The total number of potential voters (approximately as only portions of Herkimer, Oswego, and Tioga Counties are part of the NY-22) were 534,465 as of November 1, 2016, and 55% of voters in the NY-22 participated in the election. This is an increase in total number of voters from 2014 by 3.66%.
In total, according to FEC records, direct contributions and candidate loans to their campaigns resulted in a total of $4.2 million being spent on this race. This does not include the reportedly more than $2.8 million from the House Majority PAC (a Democrat PAC with ties to Nancy Pelosi), $828,000 from the DCCC, $606.254 from the Grow the Economy PAC (an anti-Tenney PAC), $3 million from the NRCC, and other PAC and groups. Including all reported spending, total for just the NY-22 race exceed $11.8 million. These totals do included direct contributions from multi-millionaires Babinec ($2.2 million) and Myers ($540,000) to their respective campaigns. Simplifying the math, Tenney was outspent 6:1 at a minimum.
The celebration at Vernon Downs included an unofficial swearing in ceremony, performed by Justice Deborah Karalunas of the NY State Supreme Court, 5th Judicial District. The official swearing in ceremony will occur on January 3, 2017, with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan officiating.
The following is unedited video of the comments by Congresswoman-elect Tenney, to the more than 350 attendees: