By Ray Finger & Andrew Casler, Elmira Star Gazette
ORNING - Republican Tom Reed declared victory in the 23rd Congressional District on Tuesday night over Democratic challenger Nate Shinagawa.
"It is done. I am proud to represent and continue to represent this area in Washington, D.C.," Reed said as he thanked his supporters who had gathered at the Radisson Hotel Corning.
"The bottom line is tomorrow morning, the sun will come up and what we will do is solve the problems of our country."
Reed said he had not yet heard from his opponent when he made his victory speech.
Shinagawa's team had gathered at the Ithaca Holiday Inn to await results, which were close throughout the night.
"We did a very good job. Unfortunately we didn't come close enough. Unfortunately, we lost this race 49 to 51," Shinagawa told his supporters.
"I wish our congressman the best of luck and I hope we will be able to get a congress and government that will work for us again."
With incomplete results across 11 counties on Tuesday night, Reed was leading with 120,416 votes to Shinagawa's to 110,929.
Reed's victory speech came moments after Obama was declared the winner in the presidential race.
When Reed was asked if he still plans to work in a bipartisan manner if re-elected, he replied: "These problems that face America are significant, and it's going to take a united America to solve them.
"The way we're going to solve them is by uniting as America to deal with these crises that are now before us, and with your support, we'll continue on in this effort," Reed said.
"And I just wanted to say God bless each and every one of you. God bless this country. We love it," he said.
"And God bless this area because this is home, and I am proud to be called the next congressman for the 23rd Congressional District."
Shinagawa said earlier in the day he felt great about the campaign.
"I think we far exceeded anybody's wildest expectations, and that's why we're going to do well tonight. Whether it's a victory or not, I think we're going to do exceptionally well."
Shinagawa started Election Day in Ithaca then he traveled across the district to Corning, Elmira and Horseheads.
"To me, this has been an experience that has taught me empathy at a whole new level," he said.
During the campaign, Reed said job creation, elimination of the national debt, creation of a comprehensive energy policy and providing regulatory relief to strengthen the private-sector economy would continue to be his top priorities during another two-year term.
Reed plans to continue seeking the repeal the Affordable Care Act while supporting the preservation of some of its provisions, such as allowing college-age children to remain on their parents' health insurance policy and providing coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The new 23rd District includes Seneca, Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, Yates, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Tompkins counties along with parts of Ontario and Tioga.