SARATOGA SPRINGS – Republican Chris Gibson has unseated first-term Representative Scott Murphy, a Democrat, in the 20th Congressional District.
Mr. Gibson, a Kinderhook resident who recently retired from the Army with the rank of colonel, claimed his victory Tuesday night at a hotel ballroom here in the most populous part of the large district. The 20th covers all of Columbia County and stretches from the center of the Adirondacks to the middle of Dutchess County, with a spur that reaches through the Catskill Mountains.
Mr. Murphy won the seat in a special election in early 2009 after Kirsten Gillibrand (D) was appointed to the U.S. Senate to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Ms. Gillibrand, who has a home in Greenport, ran very well in the county as she did all across the state, according to preliminary results.
Voter registration in the 20th District overall gives Republicans a substantial edge. In Columbia County early returns with only about 20% of precincts reporting, showed Mr. Gibson winning here. Democrats hold a narrow plurality in voter registration in the county, though independent voters comprise the third largest bloc.
TV Station WRGB, Channel 6 in Albany reported that Mr. Gibson won district-wide by a 55 to 45% margin over Mr. Murphy.
In other results, incumbent state Senator Steve Saland (R) turned back a strong challenge by Millbrook resident Didi Barrett. Ms. Barrett issued a statement Tuesday night acknowledging the loss and reminding Mr. Saland that he had taken a pledge issued by former New York City Mayor Ed Koch committing those who signed it to support a non-partisan redistricting process for new state legislative and congressional districts.
Channel 6 also reported that in two countywide races, incumbent County Clerk Holly Tanner (R) easily defeated her opponent, Peter Donahoe (D), and Roberta Davis (D) narrowly won her race against Deb Simonsmeier (R) for the new post of third county coroner.
Former Chatham Town Board member Tom Meyn (R) won a one-year term on the Town Board to fill a vacancy, which gives Republicans a majority on the board. He defeated former councilman Bob Balcom, a Democrat.
In Copake Republican Bill Gregory easily defeated Democrat Bill Jamison, 74% to 26% according to the figures from WRGB.
And library funding proposals in Kinderhook and Stuyvesant were approved by voters by substantial margins.
Voters in New Lebanon turned down a proposal to increase the terms of office for the town clerk and highway superintendent to four years from two, but voters in Ancram approved extending the term of the superintendent and the town clerk to four years.
In the 108th Assembly District, which covers the northern tier of towns in Columbia County and meanders into parts of three other counties, Republican Steve McLaughlin defeated incumbent Tim Gordon, an Independence Party member who caucused with the Democrats.
And in the 103rd District, which winds up the eastern spine of the county and then cuts through the center of the county to the City of Hudson, incumbent Marc Molinaro (R) easily turned back a challenge from Democrat Susan Tooker.
All numerical results are unofficial.