Election Day was good for Republicans in Broome County, as GOP candidates won 10 of 11 contested elections. In the city of Binghamton, Mayor Rich David secured a second term Tuesday, defeating Democratic challenger Tarik Abdelazim by nearly 18 percent of the vote.
Votes for David totaled 5,134, while 3,572 were cast for Abdelazim, according to the Broome County Board of Elections. The mayor took the stage to Katy Perry’s “Roar” after his win was announced by Bijoy Datta, Broome County Republican Party chairman, at Terra Cotta in Downtown Binghamton on Tuesday night.
“When you’re first elected, you’re elected based on platform and potential,” he said. “When you’re re-elected, it’s validation of what you’ve done.”
Binghamton residents voted at 30 polling locations, including Tabernacle United Methodist Church on the corner of Main and Arthur streets. That’s where West Side resident Ty Whitbeck voted half an hour before the polls closed.
Whitbeck, 32, said he voted for Abdelazim after getting to know him over the past couple of years.
“He’s a wholehearted individual,” Whitbeck said. “He works for the people.”
After the results came in when polls closed at 9 p.m., Abdelazim spoke at the Broome County Democratic Headquarters on Court Street. He said he was disappointed with the outcome, but proud of his team’s efforts.
“Our campaign brought together a diverse group of people and inspired people to believe in a positive message,” he said.
He also noted the challenges of starting his campaign less than four months before the election.
“If I could change something, I would have announced my candidacy a year ago,” Abdelazim said. “David had $71,000 in the bank when I announced.”
Abdelazim said he’d be willing to work with David in the future.
“If the mayor is receptive, I’d be happy to collaborate on issues because I care about this community,” Abdelazim said.
David follows his predecessor, Democrat Matt Ryan, as a two-term mayor. Jan. 1, 2018 will be the first day of his second term.
The race for Broome County Clerk, between Republican City Council President Joseph Mihalko and Democrat Dan Livingston, also went to the Republican candidate. Mihalko defeated Livingston by more than 4,000 votes.
On campus, registered students were able to vote from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Old Union Hall in the University Union. According to the Center for Civic Engagement, 312 students voted on campus this year, compared to 178 in 2015, the last odd-year election.
Claudia Rutley, a sophomore majoring in political science, said she volunteered to work the polls to honor the efforts of groups who have fought for their voices to be heard.
“To not vote would be disrespectful to all the work they did,” she said.
In the town of Vestal, two Democrats, John Fletcher and Suzanne Messina, were elected to the town council. It was the only contested race won by Democrats in Broome County.
The most well-known statewide referendum, the potential constitutional convention, was voted against across New York, including in Broome County. More than 30,000 Broome County voters chose to veto the convention and just over 6,000 voted in favor.