AP: Tim Kennedy declared winner in NY-26 special election


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — State Senator Tim Kennedy (D) has been declared the winner of the Congressional special election for New York’s 26th Congressional district on Tuesday night, according to the Associated Press.

Kennedy has 69% of the vote with 38.8% of the vote having been counted as of 9:35 p.m., according to the AP. He defeated West Seneca Town Supervisor Gary Dickson (R).

Kennedy has been a state lawmaker since 2011, representing south Buffalo in the state’s 63rd district.

He replaces Brian Higgins, who had represented Western New York in Congress since 2005 before resigning in February, citing frustration with the pace of Congress. He took the job as president of Shea’s Performing Arts Center in downtown Buffalo. Kennedy has referred to Higgins as a mentor of his multiple times.

“I have no regrets over this, for running. Only really great memories,” Dickson said in his concession speech. “I met a lot of really great people … people who have put their heart and soul into my candidacy, who put their hopes that we could actually change things. And even though this time it may not have come to fruition, that doesn’t mean next time it won’t.”

‘We’re at the beginning of a bad trend’: Higgins expresses frustration with state of Congress in resignation announcement

Kennedy said that his focus in Washington would be on reproductive rights, immigration and stronger gun laws, similar to those passed on the state level following the 2022 Tops mass shooting.

Kennedy will be sworn into office in the coming weeks, but will be back on the campaign trail soon. He will be in the primary for November’s general election on June 25. The general election is on Nov. 5. Should Kennedy win that election, he will be sworn back into Congress for a two-year term beginning on Jan. 3, 2025.

New York’s 26th Congressional District represents Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Tonawanda, North Tonawanda, among other municipalities.

Courtesy: NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment

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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.

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