[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/01/art.getty.boehner.jpg caption="House GOP Leader John Boehner predicted Wednesday that Republican Jim Tedisco would prevail after all the absentee ballots are counted."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - House GOP Leader John Boehner predicted Wednesday that Republican Jim Tedisco, who is essentially locked in a dead heat in a special election for a House seat in upstate New York, would prevail after all the absentee ballots are counted.
"When all the ballots are counted, I'll be proud to escort Jim Tedisco down the center aisle of the House to be sworn in as our newest member," Boehner told reporters Wednesday morning.
After the votes were counted last night, Democrat Scott Murphy held an advantage of roughly five dozen votes over Tedisco, with thousands of absentee ballots had yet to be counted.
Murphy has not yet claimed victory in the race.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, predicted Murphy would edge out Tedisco. "From 21 points down to securing a majority of the vote tonight, congratulations to Scott Murphy who ran an extraordinary campaign focused on his record as a successful businessman who helped to create jobs and his strong support for President Obama's economic recovery act," he said. "As votes continue to be counted, we're confident that Scott Murphy will expand his lead."
The special election was held to fill the vacant congressional seat of Kirstin Gillibrand, who was appointed to rpace Hillary Clinton in the Senate.