TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Races don’t come much closer than this year’s Tompkins County Legislature race for the 14th District seat, representing Dryden. When the dust settled this week, incumbent Democrat Mike Lane had held on to his seat by a margin of eight votes over challenger Thomas Corey, a Republican, 873 votes to 865.

Tompkins County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Steve DeWitt confirmed last week that a recount would be required, as the margin was sure to fall below the 20-vote threshold that triggers an automatic manual recount. That recount was completed and the final tally was posted to the Tompkins County Board of Elections’ page.

Corey held a lead of about 40 votes after Election Day voting, but early voting and absentee ballots both went heavily in favor of Lane. The result means the legislature will have an 11-3 advantage for Democrats.

“I am disappointed with the results, but not with the voters,” Corey said in a statement. “My campaign focused on the needs and expectations of East Dryden, public safety, fair and affordable taxes, avoidance of waste and the encouragement of responsible commercial development. I had hoped to be an alternative voice to the group-think that emanated from the ruling Democratic elites.”

Corey also thanked his voters and wished Lane luck, urging him to be “an independent vote in matters affecting our town.”

Lane has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at