Absentee ballots confirm Strawinski won

The race for the county legislative seat to represent Red Hook has finally been decided.

After absentee ballots were counted on Nov. 14, the County Board of Elections has confirmed that Micki Strawinski, a Democrat, beat incumbent Republican Ben Traudt by 11 votes to win the County Legislature District 20 seat

On Election Night, the results had shown Traudt trailing Strawinski by 41 votes: 1,209 to 1,168.

Republican Election Commissioner Eric Haight told The Observer it was a “very close race” and that a little over 100 absentee ballots were examined before deciding the outcome.

After the final count, Strawinski told The Observer, “The people of Red Hook are ready for a change in the legislature and I am ready to represent Red Hook and Tivoli in January.”

Traudt could not be reached for comment. But on Nov. 7, he told The Observer that he thought it was important to count the absentee ballots but knew there was only a slim chance he would win.

“It’s a long shot that I’ll overcome the deficit, [but] I think I’ll close [it],” he said, adding, “I congratulate [Micki], she ran a great race. I’m proud of the race I ran and I’m proud of the votes I got out there.”

The results remain unofficial until the election is certified, just like all the other races. Haight said he expects to have the election certification completed by Thanksgiving.

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