Tonawanda News

Nov. 7 Election

November 8, 2006

Despite scandal, Reynolds walks away with victory

By Eric DuVall and Denise Jewell

duvalle@gnnewspaper.com

BUFFALO — Overcoming a seemingly perfect storm of political dark clouds, Rep. Thomas Reynolds beat Democrat Jack Davis in a dogfight for New York’s 26th district.

Despite his involvement in a major national scandal and a tide of voters unhappy with an unpopular war, Reynolds did what several other of his colleagues failed to do — hold onto a seat.

With a 7,800 vote difference, the Davis campaign had conceded.

“It’s tough when you’re outspent three-to-one,” Davis campaign manager John Gerken said. “We ran a great campaign and Jack’s a great candidate. I think it came down to the money and the negative ads.”

Republicans were talking of victory.

“A few minutes ago, President Bush called Tom Reynolds and congratulated him,” said Erie County Republican Chair James Domagalski.

Bush will, however, have to face a Democratic House of Representatives. Despite the Davis loss, early election counts already had Democrats winning at least the 15 seats needed to take control of the chamber.

Thanking an enthusiastic throng of reynolds ...

continued from page 1a

supporters, Davis said “I wish I had your youthful enthusiasm. I would have beat that SOB.”

Rep. Brian Higgins, a South Buffalo Democrat, was pleased despite the Davis loss.

“Doesn’t matter,” Higgins said. “The Democrats are in the majority and this was a judgment of President Bush and his policies.”

“This was a hard fought race, a tough one, one that Western New York relishes,” Reynolds told supporters during a late night victory speech. “I want to thank the party leaders in each one of those counties, all seven, for their hard work”

“The victory belongs to each one of you who helped me make sure that we got our message out.”

It appears as though the same stronghold counties that carried Reynolds to the victory in 2004 carried the GOP heavyweight again. Davis actually won vote tallies in Niagara and Erie counties, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a big win in Monroe County’s suburban Rochester. The spread was roughly 7,800 votes with turnout numbers unclear. Erie County was still only reporting at roughly 80 percent as of deadlines, making exact statistical calculations impossible. It appears as though Reynolds had a more decisive victory that polls predicted, however.

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