Updated 09/24/2012 07:20 PM
McDonald fails to make up enough ground in absentee ballot count
While an official winner has yet to be declared, it now appears all but guaranteed that challenger Kathy Marchione has defeated Senator Roy McDonald and will be the Republican nominee in November’s 43rd Senate District race. Matt Hunter has more.
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BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. -- "Well, we can't say it's over until it's over, but we're feeling pretty good about where we are," said Mike Cuevas, an attorney representing Kathy Marchione’s Senate campaign.
Cuevas’ remarks came after the second and final day of counting absentee ballots in the 43rd Senate District Republican primary, in which challenger Kathy Marchione's lead over Senator Roy McDonald now seems insurmountable.
Despite the odds stacked against them, McDonald's camp isn’t throwing in the towel just yet.
"At this time, we're not ready to concede," said Jeffrey Buley, an attorney for the McDonald campaign.
Heading into Monday, Marchione held onto a 110 vote lead. For Senator McDonald to close that gap, he needed to win at least 60 percent of the roughly 650 ballots that were counted Monday in Saratoga and Columbia counties. While he picked up 23 votes in Saratoga County, the home of both candidates, those gains were immediately washed out by a 26 vote swing for Marchione in Columbia County.
With re-canvassing and the counting of absentee ballots complete, Marchione’s lead stands at 7,323 to 7,210, an advantage of 113.
"We'll take a look at these results, the Columbia County results, and then take a look at all the ballots that were laid aside in all four counties and then the senator and I and his campaign manager will have a discussion and we'll be making some decisions there," Buley said.
"I think it is inevitable that Kathy Marchione will be the Republican nominee for the State Senate seat," Cuevas said.
Between the four counties in the district, 50 ballots were contested and set aside. Because that total is far less than the current 113 vote margin, it seems unlikely they'll go under the review of the judge and have any bearing on the race's outcome.
With the race firmly in Ms. Marchione's hands, the question remaining Monday evening was whether Mr. McDonald still planned to run on the Independence Party line.
"As of right now, Senator McDonald plans on running on the Independence line," Buley said Monday afternoon.
Several hours after Buley’s comments, McDonald’s campaign released a statement saying the Senator would need time to think it over.
“The McDonald campaign is considering all available options at this time,” campaign spokesperson Mike Veitch said.
“Senator McDonald is very proud of his career along with the accomplishments he’s achieved during his time in office and he is honored to participate in the democratic process. We plan to have a decision about the campaign’s future by the end of this week or the beginning of next week.”
While her campaign did not release an official statement Monday, Marchione is scheduled to meet with reporters Tuesday afternoon.