A local Republican Party official called on state Sen. Roy McDonald to end his re-election bid Wednesday as the GOP rallies around Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione.
Marchione officially claimed victory over McDonald, R-Saratoga, Tuesday in the Republican primary, following days of absentee ballot counts in which she maintained a lead of more than 100 votes.
Now GOP officials, looking to maintain a tenuous majority in the state Senate, are hoping to unify the party leading up to the general election.
“I hope he will consider holding the Republican line strong,” said outgoing Saratoga County GOP Chairman Jasper Nolan, repeating concerns of some in the GOP that McDonald could fracture the party if he mounts a third-party bid.
Claverack Supervisor Robin Andrews is the Democratic candidate in the race for New York’s 43rd Senate District.
McDonald could run a third-party bid on the Independence Party line. His campaign has gone silent since Tuesday and is expected to make an announcement about the two-term senator’s future by early next week.
“I hope Roy will think of his background and success as a Republican through the years,” Nolan said.
McDonald’s once quarter-million-dollar war chest had dwindled to just $25,000 as of Sept. 20, according to campaign finance filings.
McDonald is one of three state Senate Republicans who met stiff primary challenges from the party’s conservative wing because they sided with Senate Democrats in support of gay marriage last year.
Senators Stephen Saland, R-Poughkeepsie, and Mark Grisante, R-Buffalo, narrowly survived primary challenges.
State Senate Republicans are expected to back Marchione officially as soon as the courts certify her victory, according to party officials.
The Senate GOP is fighting to retain a slim 33-29 majority. It’s the only wing of state government controlled by Republicans.
Former Sen. James Alesi, R-Rochester, the fourth Republican to support gay marriage, retired earlier this year amid criticism of his vote. He contributed $16,800 to McDonald’s campaign a week before the primary, according to campaign finance reports.
Marchione will also appear on the Conservative Party line in November.