Democratic incumbent Andrew Gounardes has won re-election to Bay Ridge’s state Senate seat, defeating Republican challenger Vito Bruno in a nail-biting race.
“It is the honor of my life to serve my community, and today as the remaining votes are counted, I am enormously grateful to the neighborhoods of southern Brooklyn for reelecting me to represent them in the state Senate,” Gounardes said in a statement.
Gounardes has pulled ahead of Bruno by 2,500 votes and with 1,800 absentee ballots remaining as of 5 pm on Nov. 18, according to Gounardes’ spokesperson, Sarah Anders.
The announcement comes as the Board of Elections wraps up its third day of counting ballots in 22nd state Senate district, which encompasses Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Marine Park, and Gerritsen Beach.
Republican insurgent Vito Bruno, a businessman and former nightclub owner, won 51.4 percent of the in-person vote on election night with about 6,000 more votes than Gounardes. But Gounardes made up the deficit once the Board of Elections began processing the 20,000 absentee ballots from the district, which leaned Democrat.
Gounardes’ slim 2,500 vote margin — if it holds — is more than double his 1,271-vote defeat over longtime Republican senator Marty Golden in 2018.
The district saw a dramatic increase in voter turnout on both sides of the aisle. Gounardes received nearly 16,000 more votes than he did in 2018, and Bruno received more than 14,000 votes than 14-year incumbent Republican Marty Golden. In total, nearly 30,000 more votes were cast — nearly totaling the number of votes Golden won in 2018.
The close race is one of three razor-thin elections in southern Brooklyn. Three Republican insurgents — Vito Bruno, congressional candidate Nicole Malliotakis, and state Assembly candidate Mark Szuszkiewicz — swept their races on election night after an apparent “red wave” of support for President Donald Trump boosted the down-ballot Republican candidates throughout southern Brooklyn.
But of those three candidates, only Malliotakis is still projected to win her seat once election officials finish tallying the mail-in votes.
The vote tally comes from a scan of the ballots by the Board of Elections, which released the numbers to the campaigns. The Board will not publish the official election results until all the races are counted.
This article has been updated with new vote tallies and information.