Democratic Cayuga County Legislature candidate Gwen Webber-McLeod has conceded in the race for District 14, giving two-term Republican Mike Didio four more years on the 15-member body.
After absentee and affidavit vote counting last week, Didio held a 14-vote advantage, but 17 ballots were challenged by representatives of either campaign, which meant there was a possibility that one or both could ask a court to review the matter. But on Sunday, Webber-McLeod's campaign issued a statement that said "After ensuring that each vote cast in District 14 was accounted for, the Votes for Gwen campaign acknowledges it will not prevail in the final vote tally and concedes the election."
On election night, Didio's lead was just a single vote, which meant absentee ballots would determine the winner. After counting was finished on Tuesday, the tally was 593 votes for Didio and 583 for Webber-McLeod.
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Didio's victory also secures a narrow majority for the Republicans on the Legislature. With District 14's 48 weighted votes going to the GOP candidate, Republicans have a 465-418 edge.
In her campaign's statement, Webber-McLeod reflected on the experience of running.
“Thank you to every person who supported the Votes for Gwen campaign with a vote, donation or endorsement," she said. "I am so grateful for you all. Together we made history. I am the daughter of parents who grew up in the Jim Crow South. Throughout their lives they fought for my right to vote and run for political office. Following in their footsteps by running to be a Cayuga County Legislator is one of the most powerful moments in my life. I know I made them very proud. Best wishes to the Cayuga County Legislature as it continues to work on behalf of all county residents.”
Didio said he was grateful to have another term.
"I would like to thank the voters who continue to believe in me by re-electing me to the Cayuga County Legislature," he said in a statement. "I am looking forward to continue my work helping the people of Cayuga County."
This was Webber-McLeod's first attempt at running for an elected office.
“The Votes for Gwen campaign team believed in and continue to believe in Gwen’s vision for a brighter future for her beloved ‘Diverse and Vibrant District 14,'" campaign manager Angela Daddabbo said in the statement. "Although she was not elected, in this particular race, the entire campaign team remains committed to serving the community. The goal is to continually advocate for and improve the quality of life for families in District 14."