Two years after barely defeating Republican Randy Altschuler in a tight race, incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop defeated him again Tuesday, this time by a wider margin.
The victory, which Altschuler conceded, came at a wider margin than 2010, with Bishop holding above 52 percent of the vote based on unofficial results.
"I wish the Congressman the very best in his efforts over the next couple of years," said Altschuler, speaking at The Emporium in Patchogue, who also thanked his crew of volunteers and staff.
According to unofficial results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections, Bishop has earned 132,525 votes over Altschuler's 121,478 votes, with all 472 election districts reporting.
"What I am going to say is that my opponnent may have had the guys with the big checks," said Bishop, referring to a flurry of outside spending this year. "But I had the guys with the big hearts ... And that's what they bet against. And we won because of all of you and all of those middle class families you fight for and I fight for.
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Tuesday's rematch ended up much differently than the 2010 contest, which took 36 days after Election Day to call because it was so close. In that race, Bishop finally squeezed out a 593-vote victory, after nearly 200,000 voters cast their ballots in the race.
At the Islip Marriott, where Suffolk County Democrats held their party on election night, Bishop called the rematch between the two candidates “the most bruising and brutal campaign I’ve ever been a part of," citing what he called the personal nature of his opponents' attacks as well as the length of the campaign.
Bishop said turnout seemed to be better than 2010, though not quite as high as 2008.
Though the last race between the two lasted until the following month, Bishop said he was hoping that this year’s outcome would be settled before the end of the night.
He said about 23,000 absentee ballots have been filed in the race, 36 percent filed by Republicans and 34 percent by Democrats, though those numbers could not be immediately confirmed.
Many political observers have likened the Bishop-Altschuler race to the presidential one: both incumbent Democrats taking on a former businessman who previously sought the seat.Name Votes Percent Tim Bishop (D) 132,525 52.1 Randy Altschuler (R) 121,478 47.8