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Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued a statement following the concession of Sen. Steve Saland who was one of the four Republicans who helped pass same-sex marriage in New York. 

Senator Stephen Saland has been an exemplary representative for the Hudson Valley whose leadership has made New York a better place.

Steve has been a true partner who always put what was right before politics, and worked with me during the past two years to rebuild this state and restore the people’s faith in government. Throughout his career, he championed issues that directly affected New Yorkers, from strengthening protections against domestic violence, to putting in place an all-crimes DNA databank. As a result of his courage, tens of thousands of couples here in New York State have the freedom to marry whom they choose. Steve is a public servant of remarkable character, integrity, and courage and serves as a model for our collective aspirations of how our elected officials should perform. It is unfortunate that an elected official who stood so strong for equality, as Steve did, was not able to survive in today's political environment.

I thank Steve for his work on behalf of the people of the state of New York and his friendship, and give my warmest wishes to him, his wife Linda, and their family as they enter this next phase."

 

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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.
“This chamber will miss Steve Saland’s clear and steady voice, most notably in the areas of criminal justice and victim’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.

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