BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — In a rare battle between two incumbent state senators, Democrat Sean Ryan has defeated Republican Ed Rath III to win the seat in New York’s 61st Senate District.

In a speech to supporters on Tuesday night, Ryan declared victory. According to the Erie County County Board of Elections, Ryan received 56% of the vote to 43% for Ryan with all but two precincts reporting.

The 57-year-old Ryan, a Lackawanna native, has served one term as a state senator and was first elected in 2020 to serve New York’s 60th Senate District. Previously, he was a state assemblyman from 2011 to 2021. Ryan ran on a platform that focused on moving the economy forward, being a progressive leader and fighting for families around Western New York.

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His opponent, Rath, was the incumbent in New York’s 61st Senate District covering Amherst.

His projected victory comes after a redrawing of the 61st District’s lines roughly combined portions of Rath and Ryan’s previous districts, pitting them against one another for just a single seat. Their race is one of two battles between incumbents in New York State, with the other taking place in the Hudson Valley.

The newly adjusted 61st District reaches from Grand Island to Amherst and includes the Town and City of Tonawanda as well as parts of North Buffalo.

New York’s 61st Senate District. Courtesy of: New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment

According to state enrollment records, registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans in the new district 46.7% to 24.9%, while 22.5% of voters are unaffiliated with a party. In the 2020 presidential election, it went the way of Joe Biden, as the current president secured 62.7% of the vote to Donald Trump’s 37.3% per Redistricting & You.

Back on Nov. 2, Ryan and Rath debated at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, which can be viewed here.

Adam Gorski is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team in 2022. You can find more of his work here.