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3rd District congressional primary outcome remains unsettled

Stephen Labate, left, and Grant Lally, right, both

Stephen Labate, left, and Grant Lally, right, both GOP primary candidates for New York's 3rd Congressional District, pose for portraits on May 13, 2014.

The Republican nomination in the 3rd Congressional District remained unsettled Wednesday as tallies showed attorney Grant Lally leading financial planner Stephen Labate by 110 votes.

Lally, 52, of Lloyd Harbor, declared victory on Tuesday night, but Labate, 46, of Deer Park, refused Wednesday to concede.

The final outcome will now depend on the counting of hundreds of absentee ballots, election and campaign officials said. The winner will take on Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) in November.

The district covers much of Long Island's North Shore, including northwestern Suffolk and northern Nassau, along with a sliver of northeast Queens.

With all 614 district precincts reporting final results, Lally led Labate 3,195 to 3,085.

Lally's lead largely reflects his strong showing in Suffolk where he beat Labate 55.2 percent to 44 percent. Labate won by 51.8 percent to 47.6 percent in Nassau. In Queens, where 661 total votes were cast, Lally won 51.1 percent to 48.8 percent.

District residents in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens requested 1,983 absentee ballots and have thus far returned 584 of them.

Absentee ballots must have been postmarked before midnight Monday and received by next Tuesday to be considered valid, officials said.

Labate, a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves, declined to comment Wednesday. His campaign said in a statement that it was "awaiting the complete count of all ballots before making a statement on the outcome."

Lally said he was confident his lead would hold, citing his campaign's aggressive absentee balloting strategy.

"It would have to be a pretty dramatic shift to change the lead," said Lally.

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