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WNY GOP congressmen differ on acknowledging Biden as president elect

Posted at 6:34 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-11 18:34:16-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Western New York's two GOP congressmen, Tom Reed (NY-23) and Chris Jacobs (NY-27) differ on acknowledging Joe Biden as President-elect.

In a call with reporters Tuesday, Reed said the numbers show Biden will be the next president of the United States.

“I think just out of deference and respect for that position of being the President-elect the right thing to do is recognize that,” Reed said,

7 Eyewitness News requested an interview with the newly re-elected Jacobs, to ask if he too recognizes the results of the presidential election. He responded with a statement.

“I know from my own experience in the special election this summer that the ballot counting, and certification process can take time. We need to let the process work to ensure accuracy and fairness. Every legal vote must be counted transparently – the health and integrity of our electoral process relies upon it. The President has the right to ask for every legal vote to be counted and the results of the election to be certified.”
Congressman Chris Jacobs

Jacobs himself declared victory on election night, just two hours after the polls closed. He also declared himself the winner during the June GOP primary and special electionbefore all the votes were counted.

Meantime, President Trump has alleged widespread voter fraud, and tweeted repeatedly that he won the election, not the former vice president.

Reed said he respects the president's right to pursue elections lawsuits underway in several states.

“Once that right is pursued by the president, and if the evidence is not there, then I think it’s incumbent upon us as a Republican Party, and the president himself, to recognize that what we pride ourselves in America is a peaceful transition of power, and I’m confident the president will do that,” he said.

Both Republican and Democratic officials in states with the closes margins said there is no proof of widespread voter fraud or irregularities.

University at Buffalo Associate Professor of Political Science Jacob Neiheisel said while politicians are not required to voice recognition for winners, it can lead to a smoother transfer of power.

“It’s nice to have happen, and it signals to supporters that hey we lost this time, get them next time; and it's a normal political process rather than something that signals a greater degree of conflict," Neiheisel said.