State Sen. Kathleen Marchione, R-Halfmoon, defeated Democratic candidate and former Queensbury school superintendent Brian Howard on Tuesday, keeping the 43rd Senate District seat she’s held since January 2013.
Unofficial totals from Saratoga, Washington, Rensselaer and Columbia counties gave Marchione 34,844 votes, who also held the Conservative and Independence lines, while Howard, also on the Working Families line, tallied 20,332 votes.
The campaign drew attention in mid-October when Marchione unexpectedly canceled her appearance in a Saratoga County debate, saying the distance was too far for some of her constituents to drive. Democrat Brian Howard appeared at the event, answering questions from the public, at Maple Avenue Middle School in Saratoga Springs, which falls into the 43rd Senate District.
During the campaign, Marchione had a large cash lead on Howard, sharing some of her cash with others in the final days before the election.
She contributed $5,000 from her campaign fund to Republican state Senate candidate George Amedore of the Albany area, and $2,000 to the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee last week.
Marchione, 60, has spent her entire career in politics, serving as Saratoga County clerk, supervisor of the town of Halfmoon, clerk of Halfmoon and has also served on the Town Board.
During her campaign, she talked about growing upstate’s economy, creating more good-paying jobs, delivering real property tax relief, cutting red tape and making New York more affordable for families and senior citizens.
Marchione said she wants to see major changes in the Common Core curriculum.
She was endorsed by the National Rifle Association and New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, having voted no to the NY SAFE Act and calling it unconstitutional.
Tuesday night, Marchione joined fellow Republicans at the Holiday Inn in Saratoga Springs, where she announced her victory.
Neither Marchione nor Howard returned repeated requests for comment on Tuesday night.
In a Facebook posting after midnight, Marchione wrote, “Thank you to everyone for your support and confidence in me. I am truly humbled by the results and look forward to representing the 43rd District in the New York Senate.
Shortly after midnight, Howard made a Facebook statement, as well.
“I am proud of the campaign that I ran and I am so thankful to my supporters and volunteers. I am proud that I was able to make sure that many issues were discussed. We need to make sure the Women’s Equality Act is passed. We need to make sure our schools are fully funded. We also need to enact a system that fairly finances campaigns and makes sure that all our voices our heard.”
He congratulated Marchione, adding, “I regret that she did not give her constituents more of an opportunity to speak to her and discuss important issues. I continue to believe that we can make the future better for our children and their children. I hope you will join me in that goal.”