TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. – Tompkins County voters overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidate Tracy Mitrano in the 23rd Congressional District race on Nov. 6, and they turned out in large numbers to cast ballots. However, that wasn’t the story for the rest of the district. Republican incumbent Tom Reed picked up enough votes throughout the district to win reelection by a comfortable margin.

The 23rd District stretches from the Finger Lakes to Lake Erie, encompassing all of Tompkins County and all or part of 10 other counties. The district is home to about 23,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats. In 2016, Reed won the largely rural district by a 15-point margin.

While tallies may change slightly as absentee and provisional ballots are counted, Reed finished Election Day 10 points ahead of Mitrano.

After the victory was clear Tuesday night, Reed said in a statement, “We are humbled by the support we received from our hardworking neighbors across the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes and Western New York. I’m proud to have earned your trust and I look forward to continuing to work for our families.”

Tracy Mitrano on Election Day. (Photo courtesy of Tracy Mitrano for Congress)

In a statement conceding the race, Mitrano said, “Though we fell short in the final vote count, our work is not over. We must continue to strive to restore decency, compassion, and integrity to our politics. We must continue to call for affordable healthcare and education, for better infrastructure and environmental protections. It will mean more hard work, but I know that we can succeed. If there’s one thing I know about the people of NY-23, it’s that we never give up.”

Tompkins voters make up about 14 percent of the 23rd’s electorate, and they turned out in large numbers to cast ballots for Mitrano. In 2014, the last midterm election year, Democratic candidate Martha Robertson collected about 18,000 votes in Tompkins. Mitrano picked up almost 26,000 in the county (and that number will increase once all ballots are counted).

Related: Tompkins voters turned out to vote Tuesday; midterm turnout numbers strong

With about 63 percent of eligible Tompkins voters casting ballots, the county had the highest turnout in the district. Overall, about 56 percent of voters in the 23rd turned out to vote.

The combination of strong support and high turnout in Tompkins gave Mitrano a net gain of about 17,500 votes in the county. Reed did not see as large a pick-up in any single county, but led in all 10 counties outside Tompkins. In the end, Reed won the race by about 22,000 votes.

Reed’s strongest support came from Allegany County voters, with 70 percent casting ballots for him. His largest vote pick-up came from Steuben County, where he collected about 9,500 ballots over Mitrano’s.

Use our map to explore vote counts and margins throughout the 23rd. Darker colors indicate a larger gap in vote counts for the leading candidate in each county. Hover over a county for detailed information.

Featured image: Tom Reed at Town Hall in Ithaca (Alyvia Covert/The Ithaca Voice)

Devon Magliozzi

Devon Magliozzi is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at or 607-391-0328.