Sen. Steve Saland of Poughkeepsie conceded his race against Democrat Terry Gipson today. "After learning today the final count of the absentee ballots and affidavits have revealed that the voters have selected Terry Gipson as the State Senator of the 41st Senate District, I respectfully concede in my bid for State Senate and offer my sincere congratulations to Mr. Gipson," Saland wrote in a statement. Saland was tremendously popular in his district and his loss came as a surprise to many.
That leaves one more Senate race outstanding although it will likely have no impact on control of the Senate as Senate Republicans joined with the Independent Democratic Conference in a power-sharing agreement. The 46th ditrict race between Republican Assemblyman George Amedore and Democrat Cecellia Tkaczyk will be decided by a judge.
Saland is one of four Republican Senators who voted for same-sex marriage earlier this year. Saland faced a conservative primary challenger because of that vote. Only one Republican Senator who voted for same-sex marriage will return next year.
Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos issued a statement praising Saland:
I join all New Yorkers in wishing Senator Steve Saland the best as he completes a 32-year career in the State Legislature, the last 22 as a distinguished member of the New York State Senate. Steve is a highly-respected lawmaker and a dear friend....
â€śThis chamber will miss Steve Salandâ€™s clear and steady voice, most notably in the areas of criminal justice and victimâ€™s rights. Steve was the author of more than 350 laws, and he has been a fierce advocate for the victims of domestic violence and child abuse.