Silent Republicans- How Republicans in N.Y. Are Responding to the Election


It was not long after the polls had closed on election night when Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican state assemblywoman, had seen enough: She correctly declared an early victory in her House race against Representative Max Rose.


But Ms. Malliotakis has yet to acknowledge Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the president-elect, nor has she publicly disputed President Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.

“There is no reason to rush the issue.“President Trump and his team have every legal right to wait for a complete count and certification of the results.”

she said in a statement on Monday.

“We are ready to come together, work as one and help all Americans through the difficult times ahead.”

Upstate in the Finger Lakes region, however, Representative Tom Reed, a moderate Republican, has congratulated Mr. Biden, writing on Twitter.


Still, many of New York State’s top Republicans have stayed largely silent about both Mr. Trump’s refusal to concede and his spreading of misinformation. (On Monday, the president again amplified a false narrative, tweeting, “I WON THE ELECTION!”)

Republican members of Congress do not want to alienate voters in their districts.


Mr. Trump remains deeply popular in many districts where Republicans won seats, which might explain the trepidation from those candidates or lawmakers to criticize him, my colleague Jesse McKinley, The Times’s Albany bureau chief, told me.


Mr. Reed was the only Republican in New York’s current congressional delegation who confirmed with The Times that he recognized Mr. Biden as the president-elect. The state has no Republican U.S. senators.


Among the other Republicans, Representative Chris Jacobs, who won a special House election in June in Western New York, said in a statement on Friday that Mr. Trump had “the right to ask for every legal vote to be counted.”


“I know from my own experience in the special election this summer that the ballot counting, and certification process can take time. We need to let the process work to ensure accuracy and fairness. Every legal vote must be counted transparently — the health and integrity of our electoral process relies upon it.”

he said.


And in an interview on Monday, Representative Peter T. King, who did not seek re-election on Long Island, stopped short of using the term president-elect, though he presumed that Mr. Biden “would get the most votes from the Electoral College.”

He also said that Mr. Biden should start receiving intelligence briefings; Mr. Trump got these daily updates right after his election four years ago.


Representatives Lee Zeldin, Elise Stefanik and John Katko, as well as the New York State Republican Committee, did not return requests for comment. Ms. Stefanik and Mr. Zeldin, in particular, are staunch allies of the president.


The split between liberal and conservative areas may become more stark.


“The divide between upstate Democrats and Republicans in more rural areas is growing. It’s there that candidates may need to start to balance ‘count every vote’ with ‘it’s time to concede.’”

Mr. McKinley told me, adding that the equation is trickier in the suburban, moderate districts surrounding New York City.


Still, unlike in other states, top Republicans in New York have not made claims of rampant voter fraud.


“The consensus is that the election was fairly well handled, and in most cases, the G.O.P. was winning from machine counts on election night. Now that the absentee ballots are starting to get counted — and Democrats are winning those margins overwhelmingly — you may start to hear some of the same complaints and allegations that the Trump campaign has been spinning.”

Mr. McKinley said.

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