SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione overcame a popular incumbent on a third-party line and a once-fractured Republican Party on Tuesday night, easily winning the race for New York’s 43rd state Senate seat.
“My friends, thanks to all of you, we did it,” Marchione said to her supporters, igniting a roar from the crowd of about 150 Republican officials and party members.
Republicans from the four-county district put up a unified front, a running theme at the party’s election night gala at the Saratoga Springs Holiday Inn.
“If I couldn’t have (Sen.) Hugh Farley, there’s only one other person I’d have represent me,” said Assembly Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville. “That’s Kathy Marchione.”
The crowd again erupted as Tedisco praised the longtime county clerk.
As of 11:25 p.m., Marchione led Andrews 46,133 to 35,698, with 74 percent of the precincts reporting. McDonald garnered 15,750 votes, not enough to scuttle Marchione’s bid.
Phrases like “hopeless” and “long shot” were used to describe Marchione’s Republican primary bid against Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, a race where Marchione faced an entrenched incumbent with a significant cash advantage.
But the phrases slowly changed to “potential upset” and “horse race” after the primary campaign ramped up its door-to-door and phone-calling efforts, Marchione said.
Democrat Robin Andrews, Claverack’s supervisor, was waiting for her in the general election, a race where McDonald remained a wild card, especially after last week’s Siena College poll had McDonald pulling 29 percent of the vote. Marchione held a significant cash advantage over Andrews in the general election, a significant shift in fortunes from the primary.
“I like Roy McDonald. He was a great public servant, but you have a jewel and a gem,” Tedisco said of Marchione.
Andrews wasn’t immediately available for comment Tuesday night, said her campaign spokesman, Colin Brennan.
Marchione’s victory is a significant one for Senate Republicans, which were looking to maintain their slim majority in the state’s upper legislative house.