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Delgado wins 19th; incumbents hold onto state legislative seats

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    Contributed photoCongressman-elect Antonio Delgado gives a victory speech in Kingston after his projected win Tuesday night.
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    U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-19, talks to supporters at his campaign headquarters in Valatie on Tuesday night.
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    Antonio Delgado
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    Steve Greenfield
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    Diane Neal
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    Chris Tague
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    Aidan O’Connor
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    Tistrya Houghtling
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    Jake Ashby
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    Didi Barrett
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    William Truitt
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    George Amedore Jr.
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    Pat Strong
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    Daphne Jordan
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    Aaron Gladd
November 7, 2018 04:39 pm

Congressman-elect Antonio Delgado, in his acceptance speech Tuesday after his startling victory over incumbent John Faso, called for an end to political differences and told supporters that the hard work lies ahead.

The voters spoke at the polls Tuesday with high turnout for a midterm election, with results showing anticipated changes in power at both the state and federal levels.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was re-elected to a third term, while Democrats took control of the state Senate and held control of the Assembly.

Democrats also flipped the power in the House of Representatives, showing strong support for their candidate in the 19th Congressional District at the polls Tuesday.

The local boards of elections need to wait for all the absentee ballots to be returned. Absentees had to be postmarked Nov. 5.

Greene County sent out 2,064 absentee ballots and as of Wednesday had received 1,736 ballots back, and Columbia County sent out 4,243 absentee ballots and received back 3,517 ballots as of Wednesday.

Columbia County will start counting absentee votes Nov. 19.

19th Congressional District

Democrat Antonio Delgado, of Rhinebeck, is the new representative from the 19th Congressional District, defeating Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. John Faso with a close 132,001 to 124,408 vote on Election Day, according to results from the state Board of Elections.

Faso conceded at his campaign headquarters in Valatie on Tuesday night after calling Delgado to congratulate him on his victory.

“Look, it was a close race,” Faso said Wednesday. “I am very disappointed, but I respect the will of the voters.”

Faso said he is not announcing plans to run for public office again at this time.

“No matter our political differences, I will always serve with integrity, accountability, responsibility and whole lot of love,” Delgado said Tuesday night. “This election was also a test of our progress, and the results here in NY19 are clear: We deserve better and we can be better. The work begins now.”

Delgado won with 49 percent of the vote at the polls. Faso garnered 46 percent of the vote, despite the Democratic Party’s fear of the impact that Independent Diane Neal of Hurley might have on the election.

Neal, who had to fight Democratic legal challenges to her spot on the ballot throughout the race, won less than 1 percent of the vote, while Green Party candidate Steven Greenfield, of New Paltz, got little more than 1 percent of the vote.

“You always wish you had done better,” Neal said. “I am disappointed that the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] didn’t really give me the opportunity to run.”

Neal’s campaign focused on the canvassing efforts in areas of the district outside Ulster and Dutchess counties, she said.

“We wanted to talk to middle-to-right-leaning voters who wouldn’t vote for Delgado, but who did not want to pull the lever for Faso,” Neal said. “I think this midterm election just highlighted the divisiveness we are seeing these days. This is a chance for Delgado to be a great congressman and bridge the divide. And I hope he will.”

Delgado won in Columbia County, which is in step with the results from the 2016 congressional election; Ulster County, the largest voting bloc in the district, comprises 38 percent of the district’s registered Democrats as of April 2018. The 19th also includes part of Dutchess County. Faso won in Greene County, despite fears expressed by local Republican officials that second homeowners from New York City may hurt his chances. Faso also won close races in Otsego and Sullivan counties.

The area of the district that hurt Faso the most was Ulster County, where Delgado won 59 percent of the 72,743 votes cast.

Greenfield is pleased with the results of the election even though he did not win. Greenfield said that his race was not about winning, but bringing attention to the issues.

“My hope was to establish a channel in the electoral process to make people aware of the issues and get them to vote for them,” Greenfield said. “Maybe the candidates will think more about Medicare-for-All and peace now that I took 4,000 votes.”

102nd Assembly district

Assemblyman Chris Tague won the race to represent the district, defeating Democratic opponent Aidan O’Connor Jr. in a rematch of the special April election.

“This just goes to show that old-fashioned hard work pays off,” Tague said Wednesday. “I worked my tail off and I will continue to do so in the Assembly. I have always said this district needs full-time representation in Albany and that’s what I am doing and will continue to do.”

Tague and O’Connor faced off in a close special election for the district in April — Tague won 9,156-8,997 vote.

The special election is much different from a regular general election, Tague said. It affords candidates less time to get voters out.

Tague won all counties in the 102nd, including Greene County and part of Columbia County, except the part of Ulster County included in the district.

O’Connor won in Ulster County with 53 percent of the vote.

“Saugerties and Catskill are cities compared to where I’m from,” Tague said. “The issues of importance are different there than they are in downtown Schoharie. That doesn’t mean anything to me, though. I’m going to work just as hard for them as anyone else.”

O’Connor did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

107th Assembly District

Republican Assemblyman Jake Ashby is leading his re-election race that might come down to absentee ballots. He won the seat in a special election in April.

Ashby finished ahead of Democratic challenger, New Lebanon Town Clerk Tistrya Houghtling, gathering 5,810 more votes.

“I think we are going to pick up votes with the absentee ballots,” Houghtling said Wednesday. “But we are estimating it will be about 800 votes and that will not close the gap.”

The Columbia County Board of Elections received a total of 1,279 absentee ballots from the 107th Assembly District as of Monday, 803 of which were from registered Democrats.

The district includes parts of Columbia, Rensselaer and Washington counties.

In Columbia County the district includes towns of Kinderhook, Chatham, New Lebanon, Canaan, Austerlitz and Hillsdale, where 9,563 total votes were cast. Houghtling won a large chunk of the Columbia County vote, 56 percent to 41 percent.

Ashby took a close majority of votes in Rensselaer County, which saw the most votes cast in the district at 43,625 votes cast, and Washington County.

Houghtling urged Ashby to not forget about the small rural communities in the district, such as New Lebanon.

“I still think I am the best candidate,” Houghtling said. “I really saw this as a winnable seat. Whether I run for high office again or not, that will depend on the opportunities that arise.”

Ashby did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

106th Assembly District

Democratic Assemblywoman Didi Barrett held on to her seat, fending off a challenge from Republican rival William Truitt, of Hyde Park.

“I definitely will continue working and advocating for our farmers, and particularly young farmers, and supporting that important piece of economy and tradition here,” Barrett said. “I will continue to work on Lyme and tick-borne diseases and making sure we have resources here and in Albany to fight that.”

Truitt did not immediately return requests for comment.

The 106th encompasses parts of Columbia and Dutchess counties. Barrett won the majority of votes in both.

Barrett will focus on getting fossil fuels out of the economy, she said, arguing the country and state are reaching an increasingly critical point where change is necessary.

46th senate district

Republican state Sen. George Amedore Jr. won his re-election race against Democratic challenger Pat Strong, of Kingston.

“I certainly congratulate George Amedore on his victory,” Strong said. “I am very excited about the Democrats taking the majority in the state Senate for 2019.”

The 46th Senate District encompasses Greene County, Montgomery County and parts of Albany, Schenectady and Ulster counties.

Amedore won a majority in most of the counties except Strong’s home county of Ulster, where she carried 56 percent of the vote.

“I want to thank the voters of the 46th Senate District for giving me the opportunity to continue to serve as their senator,” Amedore said. “It has been a great honor to serve, and I’m proud of all that we have accomplished together. I’m excited to get back to work and continue my efforts to make New York more affordable, and improve the quality of life in all of our communities.”

43rd senate district

Republican Daphne Jordan, of Halfmoon, continues a GOP tradition by winning the seat formerly held by fellow Republican Kathy Marchione, with a 9,638 vote lead over her Democratic opponent Aaron Gladd, of Brunswick.

“To the voters, I am very thankful and deeply honored,” Jordan said Wednesday. “It is wonderful to have received their vote and with that comes faith and trust. I want to work every day for the voters. And I will work hard and not let them down.”

The 43rd Senate District seat was left up for grabs when Marchione, who served since 2012 the district that encompasses all of Columbia County, most of Rensselaer County and parts of Saratoga and Washington counties, announced her retirement earlier this year.

Jordan won all counties except for Columbia, which Gladd won by a scant 267 votes.

Jordan will focus on the causes she outlined in her campaign, including fighting for affordability for all New Yorkers and permanent tax cuts.

“I worked with her [Marchione] for six years very closely,” Jordan said. “We continue to talk with each other and she was with me last night. She was happy to stand with me when we found out the good news. We are working on a seamless transition. Marchione is a beloved senator and I want to continue on with her good work.”

Gladd did not respond to multiple requests for comment.