Absentee ballots will decide the hotly-contested Republican primary between incumbent state Sen. Roy McDonald and Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione.
As of early Friday morning, Marchione was leading McDonald 6,792 to 6,656 votes, with one precinct in Columbia County and one precinct in Rensselaer County yet to report, according to unofficial results.
More than 1,000 absentee ballots in the race won’t be counted for several days.
In Saratoga County, McDonald led Marchione 3,464 to 3,333 votes, on the machine count, according to unofficial results.
In Washington County, Marchione led McDonald 197 to 122 votes, on the machine count, according to unofficial results.
Marchione also was leading in Rensselaer County while McDonald held a slight lead in Columbia, as of early Friday.
In a separate Conservative primary, Marchione handily defeated Ed Gilbert of East Greenbush, guaranteeing a three-way general election battle in November.
McDonald already had the Independence Party nomination.
Marchione was leading Gilbert 535 votes to 317 votes.
The Democratic candidate is Robin Andrews, the town supervisor in Claverack, in Columbia County.
McDonald and Marchione, once political allies, waged a bitter primary campaign, with both candidates advertising on television.
Both candidates had said the economy is the top issue in the race.
McDonald touted his role in recruiting new employers, such as Ace Hardware and Target Corp. distribution centers, in the region.
Marchione said the role of government is to create an environment conducive to business growth.
However, much of the debate in the race centered around social issues.
McDonald is pro-abortion rights and voted last year in support of same-sex marriage.
Marchione is anti-abortion and opposes same-sex marriage.
McDonald criticized Marchione’s $99,500 salary as county clerk and Marchione criticized McDonald for having outside employment with M&T Bank.
Elsewhere in the region, results were not yet available, as of 10:45 p.m., for primaries in the 107th Assembly District, which includes Cambridge and White Creek in Washington County.
In the Democratic primary, Cheryl Roberts, an environmental lawyer from Columbia County, was leading Keith Hammond of Rensselaer County 2,317 votes to 620 votes, with Columbia County yet to report, as of early Friday morning, according to unofficial results.
In the Working Families primary, Roberts was leading Brenda Mahar of Rensselaer County 50 votes to 12 votes, with Columbia County yet to report, according to unofficial results.
The incumbent is Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, R-Melrose.