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Sen. Roy McDonald announced earlier today that he will not continue on a third-party line after being defeated in the Republican Primary by Kathy Marchione.
"After discussing the issue with family, friends, campaign staff and trusted advisors, Iâ€™ve decided that I will not actively campaign in the General Election on the Independence Party line," McDonald said in a statement.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an open letter to McDonald yesterday saying that he would back McDonald because he risked his political career to vote for same-sex marriage. The issue is seen as costing McDonald the election.
McDonald had a momentus cash advantage over his opponent thanks to same-sex marriage supporters--The Times Union calculated that his campaign spent a little over $120 on each of the $7,212 votes he recieved in the primary.
The Human Rights Campaign has weighed in on McDonald's exit with this statement:
â€śRoy McDonald stood on the right side of history and voted with the best interest of all New York families at heart when he stood up to support marriage equality. Today, as he ends his re-election campaign, the Human Rights Campaign is proud to stand by our friend Roy McDonald, and we commend him not only for his service to the people of New York, but for the critical role he played in ensuring that all loving, committed same-sex couples in New York have the right to marry. Voting to affirm the dignity of others is never something to regret or be ashamed of â€“ itâ€™s something to be proud of.
â€śRepublicans like Roy McDonald are representative of the growing support nationwide for LGBT equality. Americans are supporting marriage equality in growing numbers â€“regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, or even political affiliation. Let me be clear: Roy McDonald and his Republican colleagues who supported marriage equality in New York are not the exception, they are the norm. As the tide of equality continues lifting up LGBT people across this country, we fully expect to see more and more politicians take positions supporting LGBT rights â€“ simply because it is the right thing to do.â€ť
State Government Editor of The Gotham Gazette