New York Senate Democratic candidate John Mannion enjoys spaghetti and meatballs at the Our Lady of Pompei annual Election Day luncheon at 923 N. McBride St., November 8, 2022. Photo by Mike Greenlar | Central Current.

New York State Sen. John Mannion, a Democrat, leads Republican challenger Rebecca Shiroff by 55 votes in the latest count of the state’s 50th Senate District race.

The vote is the tightest in Central New York and appears likely to trigger an automatic hand recount, two weeks after Election Day.

The boards of elections will automatically recount votes by hand when the difference between candidates in a race is within 0.5% of the total number of votes cast.

As absentee ballots and votes have been tabulated since Election Night, Mannion and Shiroff have taken turns in the lead. Mannion led early on Election Night as votes were initially reported in Onondaga County, but Shiroff surged ahead when votes from Oswego County came in near the end of the night.

Mannion has retaken the lead as the counties counted absentee ballots.

If Mannion wins, it would be his second term as a state senator in the 50th District. He previously worked as a biology teacher and was an active member in the state teachers’ union, New York State United Teachers.

Prior to Mannion’s 2020 victory, Democrats had not won the 50th district for five decades.

The 50th District was recently redrawn to include northern Onondaga County and all of Oswego County. It had previously included Cayuga County. The district slightly favors Republicans.

Shiroff is a program analyst for Onondaga County’s economic development office. During her campaign, the Manlius Republican called out what she described as the excesses of one-party rule in New York state.

Shiroff campaigned on repealing 2019’s bail reform legislation, creating a more favorable climate for small business, and improving mental health services at schools.

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Chris Libonati

Chris Libonati covers government, accountability and equity. Have a tip? Contact Chris at 585-290-0718 or libonati@centralcurrent.org.