(Photo Credit: Gennadiy Ryklin/Think Magazine)

Tim Bishop, the incumbent Democratic representative for New York’s 1st Congressional District, has eeked out a 15 vote lead as the recount process continues in Suffolk County.

Challenger Randy Altschuler was roughly 400 votes ahead when the recount began, but Bishop has made steady gains as absentee and affidavit ballots are counted. The whole process is expected to be completed by Wednesday.

From Riverhead Local:

Absentee ballots have now been counted in Riverhead, Southampton, East Hampton, Shelter Island and Southold, as well as in 41 of Brookhaven’s 294 election districts.

We have also been told by a campaign insider that most if not all of the outstanding ballots have already been counted in Smithtown, considered an Altschuler stronghold. Even there, she said, Bishop came out a few votes ahead.

The other variable at stake is challenged ballots. Both campaigns have issues hundreds of challenges, many of which are likely to be thrown out by a judge. But the Bishop campaign is peddling the fact that their opponent has challenged 212 more ballots, meaning they stand to gain even more from dismissed challenges than Altschuler. Riverhead Local is also reporting that among the ballots challenged by Altschuler is Michael Foley, the college-aged son of former recently defeated State Senator Brian Foley who voted absentee from George Mason University.