One of the four Republican Senators who broke ranks with the party to publicly support same-sex marriage in New York has conceded defeat. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos issued a statement wishing Dutchess County Senator Steve Saland "all the best" as Saland's 32-year long career in the State Legislature officially came to an end with a congratulatory telephone call to his opponent Terry Gipson, who will represent the newly redrawn 41st District at the State Capitol. Gipson says it was "a pleasure" to hear from Saland.
During his time in Albany, Saland authored more than 350 state laws - Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a staement- quote ""Senator Stephen Saland has been an exemplary representative for the Hudson Valley whose leadership has made New York a better place."
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro couldn't agree more - he says he's enjoyed his relationship with Saland and says he is looking forward to working with Gipson.
Gipson, a Rhinebeck village trustee, won the election by a margin of about 1600 votes, but there were about 10-thousand absentee and affadavit votes that had to be counted before a clear-cut winner could be announced. Gipson will take office in January.
Observers believe that had Neil Di Carlo, a Republican who lost a close GOP primary to Saland, not been in the race, Saland would have won - DiCarlo ran on the Conservative line and took roughly 14 percent of the vote. He finished a distant third.
Senator Saland did not immediately return a call for comment - he did issue a statement thanking his constituents.
DiCarlo refused to go on mic, choosing instead to share his thoughts with WAMC via email:
"Despite the enormous money poured into his campaign by Mayor Mike Bloomberg and other radical homosexualists, and the fear mongering on his behalf by the clueless Republican establishment, many Conservative, Republican, Independent and Democrat voters stood with me on principles and retired Saland. The anomaly of Terry Gipson, a neo-Marxist, will be corrected in 2014. I look forward to helping voters make that correction."
Buffalo Senator Mark Grisanti is the only one of the breakaway Senators to vote in favor of same-sex marriage returning to Albany in January. Rochester Senator Jim Alesi did not seek re-election and Saratoga Senator Roy McDonald lost a GOP primary and the general election to Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione.