Updated: Nov 18, 2022
Republican supporters, many of whom came to cheer on the Schmitt attempt to take the new Congressional District 18, grew tighter and eventually were glued to each other close to the tally screen in the 1796 American Legion Headquarters in New Windsor. The vote numbers changed a few times per minute. Results showed several very tight races in Orange County including the Congressional contest between New Windsor's hometown Republican, Assemblyman Colin Schnitt, and Ulster County's Democrat Pat Ryan, formerly its County Executive who recently picked up the Congressional seat of District 19 by beating Marc Molinaro in a Special Election. The crowd at the 1796 Hall in New Windsor was full of Schmitt supporters along with Monroe's republican candidate, Dorey Houle who was trying for James Skoufis' Senate seat. The race grew tighter and tighter throughout the evening, eventually with just about all constantly glued to the screen as joy erupted when Schmitt's numbers jumped ahead of Ryan's. From then on the tally stayed largely within 1,000 votes of each other, occasionally dropping to 400-600 votes apart out of over 130,000 votes. The real nailbiter had some supporters dancing and singing at one point while the DJ played "Stayin' Alive". By midnight, with the lead changing 3 times and over 95% of the votes counted, Ryan had a few hundred vote lead, and the crowd started thinning as it became clear that any declaration of a winner migh take days, or even a week, depending on the count of absentee ballots, including an unknown number overseas military ballots that remain to be counted before an official winner is declared. Schmitt retained a large lead in Orange County during most of the evening while Ryan kept a large lead in Ulster county where he was considered successful as County Executive.
Asked what he hopes republicans will address first if they gain the majority, Monroe Supervisor Tony Cardone said he hopes they create some better policies regarding immigration issues During the evening Chester Supervisor Bob Valentine gave his take on the concerns that some republicans might make drastic changes to Social Security and/or Medicare (see video). Valentine said he does not see that happening, that it's a right which should be protected, that while the topic became a lively talking point, health and financial benefits are a promise unlikely to be broken by either party.
Brief interviews with Chester Supervisor Bob Valentine and Monroe Supervisor Tony Cardone.
By morning the midnight numbers changed little, but Colin Schmitt posted a congratulatory message to Pat Ryan, as follows: “After a hard-fought campaign the people of our district made their choice and I respect their decision. I wish the best for Pat Ryan and hope he will do great things for our Hudson Valley families. I thank my wife Nikki, my family, friends, supporters, and team for all their dedication and commitment given to this campaign. We left it all on the field and I am proud to have been in the arena fighting for my home community."