By Dan Byford, SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Tuesday night did not end with the perfect outcome for Dana Balter, but she made the race with John Katko a lot more exciting than in his last two runs. Katko, R-Camilus, won each of those elections by over 20 percentage points but only managed a six point victory over Balter this year. Balter’s designs of a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives fell just short but in her concession speech she said that her loss doesn’t dampen a time that she sees as being one of progress for the nation and her Democratic Party.
“We will continue to fight to put people first,” Balter said, “to fight for opportunities so everyone who works hard can build a better future for their family.”
Balter stressed the continued need to fight for items on her party’s platform like expanding Medicare and social security, allocating more funds to public education and making reforms to health insurance, but not everything she said was about reform sought by her party. Balter also called for unity among people all across the political spectrum.
“I am calling on all Central and Western New Yorkers, Republicans, Independents, Working Families, Conservatives, Greens” Balter said. “Remember that what unites us is far stronger than what divides us.”
Despite the impression all the negative campaign ads may have given there seems to be a clear mutual respect between Balter and Katko. Balter called to congratulate Katko on a “hard fought victory” as well as saying to her supporters that she has “always respected [Katko’s] dedication to public service.”
Katko showed his own respect in his comments about how well Balter ran her campaign and how he hopes she doesn’t run again because she’s “tough.” Balter hasn’t announced any future plans yet, but after winning the Democratic Primary by 30 percent and pushing Katko the closest to the brink any Democrat has yet, the Onondaga Democratic Committee would be hard pressed to find another candidate to run who has been as successful.