HILLSDALE–Incumbent state Senator Stephen Saland (R-41st) turned back a strong challenge by Millbrook resident Didi Barrett.
According to voting results on the Albany Times Union website (election results could not be gotten from the Columbia County Board of Elections), Mr. Saland, who ran on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines collected 54,222 votes compared to 36,175 for Ms. Barrett, who ran on the Democratic and Working Families lines.
Senator Saland said he was “very gratified to win by such a comfortable margin.” He attributed the win to the public support he has had the good fortune to enjoy and that his campaign message resonated with the people of Columbia and Dutchess counties.
Voters rejected the negative campaigning and “robo calls” with which his opponent bombarded them in the campaign’s final days, he said.
In an emailed statement, Ms. Barrett said, “I’m very proud of the race we ran. We brought to the forefront the issues voters really care about: jobs and the economy, lowering taxes and cleaning up Albany. We ran a well-organized campaign and reached constituents in all parts of the 41st District, some who have felt disenfranchised for decades.
“I’m disappointed in the outcome, obviously, but I encourage my supporters not to lose hope and to continue to fight to make their voices heard, no matter who is in office. I would encourage the incumbent to remember the promises he made when he signed the NYUprising Pledge, and support non-partisan independent redistricting, responsible budgeting and ethics reform.”
Sen. Saland, who has served in Albany for 30 years, counting 10 in the Assembly, said he looks forward to going into a new session, working with the new governor to bring New York back to a regional balance between the heavily Democratic delegation from New York City and upstate lawmakers. He said Wednesday that it remained unclear which party would gain control of the Senate.
The 41st District includes all of Columbia County and much of Dutchess County.
Molinaro heads back to Albany
Incumbent Republican Assemblyman Marcus Molinaro came out ahead by more than a two-to-one margin in the contest to retain his Assembly seat in the 103rd District.
Mr. Molinaro, who ran on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines, collected 26,072 votes. His opponent, Susan Tooker, who ran on the Democratic and Working Families party lines received 12,705 votes, according to voting results on the Albany Times-Union website.
In a year marked by strong anti-incumbent sentiment, Assemblyman Molinario said he did not take anything for granted.
He is very grateful to the people of the 103rd and believes they spoke very clearly. He is hopeful that with the new administration in Albany and the handful of seats picked up by the Assembly minority that reforms and tax relief can be brought about.
Mr. Molinaro said returns show he was victorious over his opponent with 66% of the vote. “The win is still sinking in,” said the assemblyman.
Gregory wins as Copake highway chief
COPAKE–Incumbent Republican William Gregory handily beat back a challenge from Conservative William Jamieson in the race for Copake Highway Superintendent.
Mr. Gregory was appointed to the post in November 2009, when former road boss Larry Proper resigned.
The race this year was for the one-year remaining in Mr. Proper’s four-year term.
Mr. Gregory, who was endorsed by Republicans, Conservatives and the Independence Party, received 795 votes and Mr. Jamieson on the Democratic line received 284, according to vote tallies in the Times-Union in Albany.
In a written statement, Mr. Gregory said, “Over the last two months, I have had the good fortune to meet and talk to nearly all of the residents of our great town. Every weekend and nearly every evening, I have knocked on the doors of both old friends and new acquaintances. The experience has been both very satisfying and rewarding. To the people who took their valuable time to discuss our Highway Department, I thank you. To anyone that I have not had the privilege to meet, I apologize for not connecting with you. It has been an honor to serve as your Highway Superintendent for the last eleven months. The many words of encouragement and support that I have received during this campaign cause me to wish for the opportunity to serve the Town of Copake far into the future.”
Mr. Jamieson could not be reached for comment by press time yesterday.
Voters like Ancram propositions
ANCRAM–Two ballot propositions to extend the terms of the town clerk/tax collector and the highway superintendent, from two to four years, were both approved by Ancram voters Tuesday.
Proposition 1 on the town clerk term passed by a vote of 320 to 169, while Proposition 2 on the extension of the highway superintendent’s term passed by a margin of 290 to 196, according to voting results in the Albany Times-Union.
“The propositions to the extend the terms of the Town Clerk and Highway Superintendent to four years had very strong support,” Ancram Supervisor Art Bassin said in an email yesterday.
“I think this support came from the respect people in town have for the incumbents–Town Clerk Monica Cleveland and Highway Superintendent Jim MacArthur–and from the logic of having these jobs run for four years so the incumbents can concentrate on their work, and not on running for office every other year,” the supervisor said.