NEW YORK — Democrat Tony Avella on Wednesday afternoon conceded his Queens City Council race to Republican Vickie Paladino after the count of absentee ballots.

"I want to thank all of my supporters and volunteers who worked tirelessly on our campaign. Although we lost, I am proud of the positive and issued based campaign we waged," Avella tweeted.

While absentee and affidavit ballots helped Avella shrink the deficit in Council District 19 — he trailed by more than 1,000 votes on election night — Paladino still leads by 387 votes, according to Avella.

Paladino’s campaign released a statement Tuesday declaring victory against Avella, who didn't concede immediately, saying he had not seen the final numbers.

Paul Vallone currently represents the district, which covers parts of Queens that include Flushing, Whitestone and Bayside.

Paladino’s victory means the seat will flip from Democratic to Republican hands when the new council session begins Jan. 1. She will be one of five Republican City Council members in the 51-member legislative body.

Avella, a former state senator, had been trying to reclaim his old council seat. He last served in the council 12 years ago, and lost the fundraising race to Paladino, a small business owner. Avella's endorsements included the Police Benevolent Association.

Paladino raised eyebrows last year, when a video emerged of her at a Republican club's Christmas party, where attendees flouted COVID-19 restrictions and danced maskless.​


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