SYRACUSE, N.Y. (Democracy in Action) – As members of the Republican Party gathered for their victory celebration at the Sheraton Syracuse University hotel, loud cheers filled the ballroom throughout the night as results for the 2016 Presidential election poured in.
However, one of the loudest celebrations of the night was not for Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. The room shifted its focus when Republican candidate John Katko walked onto the podium for his acceptance speech.
Katko defeated Democratic Candidate Colleen Deacon in the 24th District with a convincing 61 percent of the votes.
“And they said this was a swing district, right,” Katko said. “Not anymore. Not anymore.”
Katko ensured the crowd that he does not “represent Republicans, I don’t represent Democrats, I represent all of you.” He promised to continue to work with both parties while a member of Congress.
“I wanted to show that there’s a different way to govern, a different way to lead by reaching over the other side being independent,” Katko said. “And I dare say we’ve accomplished it. We’ve sent a message to Washington and to everybody that you can do that, you can be your own person, you can be an independent and you can make things work.”
Katko became the first candidate to win a second consecutive term since Republican candidate Jim Walsh, who retired in 2009.
“I think it’s important for stability to have some experience in terms of how to process words,” registered Independent voter, Gene Fisch, said. “In John Katko’s case, I think generally and sincerely he’s sort of a middle road. So I think he acts in the interest of the public.”