Altschuler concedes to Bishop in suburban N.Y. race

Randy Altschuler conceded the congressional election in a suburban New York district to incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop.

Altschuler, a Republican, is trailing the Democrat Bishop by 263 votes, unofficial counts show in the eastern Long Island district.

In his concession Wednesday, Altschuler said he concluded that a hand recount of 200,000 ballots was unlikely to change the result and would be overly burdensome on district taxpayers. Altschuler would have joined Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the incoming majority leader, as the second Republican Jewish lawmaker in Congress.

“I plan to stay active in politics and continue to speak out on the issues that affect the residents of Suffolk County, our state and our nation,” Altschuler said in a statement Wednesday. “Those issues include high taxes, runaway spending and an ever-growing deficit.”

Altschuler had spent $2.8 million of his own money on the race.

It was the last contested result in an election in which Democrats lost the U.S. House of Representatives to Republicans, who hold a 63-seat margin over Democrats in the 435-member House.

Giffords ekes out victory, Altschuler in play

Two Jewish congressional hopefuls—a Democratic incumbent and a Republican seeking his first term—may have won seats by narrow margins.

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was declared the winner last Friday night over Republican Jesse Kelly in a Tucson-area district. The victory means a third term for Giffords, who was first elected in the GOP-leaning district in the Democratic sweep of 2006.

She embraced tough immigration policies as part of her campaign this year, distancing herself from national Democrats.

Meanwhile, in New York’s 1st Congressional District, a recanvassing of the voting machines erased Randy Altschuler’s 3,400 deficit, propelling him to a lead of 392 votes over Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), who represents eastern Long Island.

Neither party was set to declare victory, as counting had yet to begin on 9,000 absentee ballots, but Bishop said Monday that he would demand a hand recount.

Altschuler, who owns a recycling company, would become the second Jewish GOP congressman, joining the Republican whip, Rep. Eric Cantor (D-Va.)