Tim Kennedy has been declared victorious in Tuesday night’s special election to serve the remainder of a Congressional term originally won by former Representative Brian Higgins, according to NBC News and other local outlets.

In a victory speech Tuesday night, Kennedy made his intentions clear for his tenure in Washington, DC. “We are going to change Washington just like we changed Albany. We know we can do it because we’ve done it before.”

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Kennedy thanked supporters. “We did it. We did it as a COMMUNITY. Because that’s what this was all about since Day One. And that’s what it will always be about. I’m honored. I’m humbled. I’m ready to go to Washington and get back to work.”

Kennedy, a Democrat, defeated West Seneca Town Supervisor Gary Dickson (R ) for the race to replace Higgins, who left Congress in February to lead Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Kennedy will hold the seat until the general election in November, when he will be eligible to run for a full two-year term.

By 11 p.m. Tuesday night, two hours after polls closed, Kennedy had secured 46,527 votes, representing 68% of ballots cast, compared to 22,135 votes for Dickson, who became the first Republican town supervisor in West Seneca in half a century.

Before joining the New York State Senate in 2011, Kennedy served in the Erie County Legislature. With Kennedy’s election, Democrats now hold 213 seats in the House of Representatives, with Republicans holding 217 seats. There are five seats currently vacant.

In conceding the race, Dickson said he was proud of his efforts. “Even though this time it may not have come to fruition, that doesn’t mean next time it won’t.”

See his victory speech below:

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