More than two weeks after the June 23 primary, Democrat Elijah Reichlin-Melnick has declared victory in the 38th district state senate primary after the counting of over 12,700 absentee ballots late last night gave him a 921-vote lead over his opponent Justin Sweet.

“I can now say with 100 percent confidence that when the final ballots from Rockland and Westchester are counted, we will emerge as the winner of the Democratic primary, and I will be the Democratic nominee for New York State Senate in District 38,” said Reichlin-Melnick.

In returns from Election Day, Justin Sweet led by a margin of 6,580 to 4,869. But with nearly 17,000 absentee ballots to count, Reichlin-Melnick’s campaign remained confident that the absentee ballots would change the outcome. The ballots opened yesterday gave Reichlin-Melnick an additional 5,434 votes and Sweet an additional 2,802, putting Reichlin-Melnick with an overall lead of 10,303 to 9,382. Third place finisher Eudson Tyson Francois has 4,442 votes.

Though there are still around 4,000 absentee ballots to count, more than 90% of them are in areas in Westchester and Rockland where Reichlin-Melnick won by overwhelming margins on election night, meaning the counting of the absentee ballots will only increase his margin of victory.

“I want to thank Justin Sweet and Eudson Francois for joining me in this race and giving voters a choice in this primary. To all the voters who supported Justin and Eudson, I promise to work hard to unify our party,” said Reichlin-Melnick. “Now I’m ready to continue fighting for the people of Rockland and Westchester in the general election in November!”

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