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Absentee count shows Mitrano wins Democratic primary to face Reed

Former Cornell University official Tracy Mitrano appears to have won the cliffhanger Democratic primary election for the 23rd Congressional District in doubt since last week, elections officials said late Tuesday.

Norman Green, Democratic elections commissioner in Chautauqua County, said totals from counts of absentee ballots are not yet available or official. But he said retired Air Force officer Max Della Pia had won only in his home county of Tioga, while Mitrano scored wins in the big counties of Tompkins (Ithaca), Chautauqua (Jamestown) and Chemung (Elmira), as well as Cattaraugus (Olean).

“It’s very unofficial, but there’s no doubt,” he said.

If Mitrano is certified as the winner, as expected, she will now face incumbent Republican Tom Reed, of Corning, in what is viewed as an uphill effort. His latest campaign finance report shows almost $1.1 million on hand, and ready for a general election campaign against a Democrat who must begin raising funds all over again.

Della Pia had led the race at the close of voting on June 26 with 7,022 votes, or 32.34 percent, while Mitrano scored 6,996 votes or 32.22 percent. As a result, elections commissioners throughout the 11-county district have spent the last week combing through about 1,000 absentee ballots.

Mitrano emerges as the winner among five candidates originally competing. After the June 26 count, she has apparently beaten retired cardiologist Linda Andrei, with 15.33 percent of the vote; Ithaca shoe store owner Ian Golden with 13.44 percent, and Jamestown attorney Edward Sundquist, with 6.42 percent.

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