Democrat Elijah Reichlin-Melnick declared victory Tuesday afternoon after taking the lead over Republican Bill Weber in the race for New York State Senate in District 38. After the second round of absentee ballots were counted on Tuesday, Reichlin-Melnick now leads Weber by 1,766 votes, with 58,143 votes to Weber’s 56,377. The remaining absentee ballots are mostly from the two most Democratic towns in the district and come overwhelmingly from registered Democratic voters.


“I am excited to announce that we have taken a clear lead, and I am 100% confident that counting the remaining absentee ballots will reveal that we have won this race with a very large margin,” said Elijah Reichlin-Melnick. “It is the honor of my life to have the opportunity to represent the people of Rockland and Westchester Counties in the New York State Senate.”


“I’m incredibly grateful to the voters of the 38th District who spoke loudly and clearly that they want to make New York work for everyone, not just the wealthy and the well-connected. We have a lot of work to do, and I look forward to going to Albany to fight for the middle class and working people of our district,” said Reichlin-Melnick.


“I want to thank Bill Weber for participating in this process and congratulate him on a hard-fought race. And to everyone who voted for Bill, I will be your representative as well, and work to earn your support.”


In the remaining absentee ballots (roughly 14,000 from Rockland and 5,000 from Westchester), Democratic ballots outnumber Republican ballots by more than 3-1, meaning Reichlin-Melnick’s lead will only continue to increase as the remaining ballots are opened. Projections suggest that Reichlin-Melnick will ultimately win the race by a decisive margin of at least 8,000 votes.


Heading into the absentee count, Reichlin-Melnick trailed Weber by 3,149 votes, but on Monday evening the first round of 8,451 absentee ballots from Rockland County saw Reichlin-Melnick close the gap to just 341 votes behind Weber. The second batch of 7,448 ballots opened on Tuesday afternoon put Reichlin-Melnick in first place with a 1,766 vote lead.


Reichlin-Melnick will fill the State Senate seat being vacated by State Senator David Carlucci. The district includes the towns of Clarkstown, Orangetown, and Ramapo in Rockland County and the town of Ossining in Westchester County.