John Brooks, Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Michael Venditto for New York State’s Eighth Senatorial District, has won the election after all questionable ballots counted by a state judge had been opened and accounted for. Brooks had been ahead by 44 votes at the end of the election.
Brooks’ win is even more significant when factoring in that the Eighth Senatorial District has never had a Democrat holding the seat in its current configuration, though the last Democrat to hold the district seat was Thomas A. Duffy in 1965.
Brooks told Your NewsMag that Duffy indeed held the seat 50 years ago, but that was when the Eighth Senatorial District was in Queens. He said redistricting and changing populations likely necessitated redistricting across county lines.
Brooks, who has family roots in the Seaford community going back centuries, said many family historians had never heard of a Democrat holding the Eighth Senatorial District seat either, in its current configuration.
Challenger John Brooks said “Democrats were contesting about 350 votes, while the Republicans were contesting some 650 or so votes.”
He noted to Your NewsMag that the contested ballots the Republicans were focusing on “came from districts I did well in,” and in many cases won.
State Senator Venditto, in his concession speech, said “ The campaign is over and all of the votes have finally been tallied. I would like to congratulate Senator-Elect John Brooks on his victory. I ask all residents of the Eighth Senatorial District to join with me in supporting Senator-Elect Brooks during his upcoming term. Together we can make our great district even better.”
He continued: “On a personal note, it has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve as your state Senator for the past two years. During my tenure, I have learned that the Eighth Senatorial District is a very special place. While government does its part, our district is so special because of the people who live here. I am grateful for the opportunity that I was given and I look forward to what the future brings.
Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.”
Meanwhile, Senator-elect Brooks released with statement right after Vendiitto: “I am extremely grateful to the people of the Eighth Senate District for electing me their state senator. Now is the time for all of us to come together and get to the people’s work.
“Senator Michael Venditto reached out to me last night to concede. He was humble and gracious. This is not my win alone, this is a win for all Long Island families. As your state senator, I will work everyday to make you proud. I will work everyday to cut property taxes, fund educationand end corruption in Albany. Thank you to God, my family, my friends, campaign staff/volunteers and all those who participated in this campaign,”
A local official close to the election told Your NewsMag that Michael Venditto’s name being associated with his father’s current legal challenges as Oyster Bay Supervisor likely contributed to Brooks’ win.
“All across the nation, voters wanted change.”