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State Senator wins Dem primary in central New York, lining up showdown for pivotal swing seat

Rep. Brandon Williams is one of the most vulnerable House incumbents, and he just got a Democratic challenger after the Tuesday New York primaries.

New York state Sen. John Mannion, a former public school teacher, won the Democratic primary in New York’s 22nd congressional district Tuesday night to face Rep. Brandon Williams, R-N.Y., in November. 

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report ranks the district as one of the most competitive in the country, and Democrats are eyeing it as a prime pickup opportunity to retake control of the House next year.

His victory comes despite recent allegations that his New York State Senate office was a toxic work environment “including mistreatment, harassment, and retaliation,” according to an unverified open letter signed by “Concerned Mannion Staff.” Mannion told local outlet CNY that the accusations were a “false political attack.”


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Williams’ district in central New York includes cities like Syracuse and Utica.

It’s one of 17 House GOP-held districts that President Biden won in 2020, making it a prime target for Democrats.

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Williams won his seat in 2022 with roughly 1.5% of the vote, and off-year redistricting has since changed his district’s boundaries to include bluer areas.

The first-term Republican lawmaker is a Navy veteran and currently sits on the committees for Transportation, Science, and Education and the Workforce.

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Williams came out in support of former President Trump in late January of this year, though with a lukewarm endorsement that didn’t extol the former president directly.

“President Trump will be the Republican nominee for president. Our country is under immense pressure—inflation, chaos at the border, sanctuary cities, fentanyl, cashless bail, crime, energy costs—we can’t endure 4 more years of Progressive fantasies, we need a Republican in the White House. And I have always said our nominee will have my full support to turn this country around,” Williams said on X after Trump won the New Hampshire GOP primary.

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