Former President Donald Trump has remained active in the political realm with a series of endorsements for candidates at various levels of the government.
He can now chalk up another win in that effort with the recent results of a GOP primary race to become the next borough president of Staten Island, New York.
“It was extremely close”
According to the Washington Examiner, the top rival to the Trump-backed candidate in that race has conceded defeat and congratulated the apparent victor in an announcement on Tuesday.
City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo had been trailing former U.S. Rep Vito Fossella (R-NY) in the unofficial results of the election board’s third vote count prior to Matteo’s concession.
Although the results have not been finalized, the third round of counting included absentee ballots and showed Fossella leading Matteo by nearly 300 votes. Two other GOP candidates had been essentially eliminated from the race due to their poor performances.
“The Board of Elections released their updated vote county tonight, which included absentee ballots,” Matteo explained in his statement. “Unfortunately, while it was extremely close, it has become clear that the lead Vito Fossella has built up with absentee ballots is insurmountable and he will be the Republican nominee for Borough President.”
He went on to congratulate his rival on “a hard-fought election” and thank his supporters for the “privilege and honor of a lifetime” following his two terms on the city council.
“Now onto victory”
Fossella served in the U.S. House for 12 years, declining to mount another congressional bid in 2009 following revelations of an affair. He also issued a statement declaring victory in the latest race and crediting Trump for giving him a final push.
“Tonight, I am humbled and honored to once again represent the people of Staten Island as the Republican nominee for public office,” he said. “This comeback would not have been possible without the amazing support of so many people, in particular, President Donald J. Trump.”
He went on to insist that the former president’s support “is not forgotten,” noting that he spoke to Trump personally “and thanked him for his amazing support.”
Following the first round of voting, Matteo held on to a razor-thin lead of just 25 votes, though that total only included in-person ballots cast on Election Day.
Trump also acknowledged the election results in a statement, saying: “Congratulations to Vito Fossella on winning the Republican Primary for Borough President of Staten Island. Now onto victory against a Radical Left Democrat.”