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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Thursday, September 13

43rd State Senate District Live Blog

12:44 p.m.
Ok folks, I'm signing off for the night. Thanks for stopping by to check out the live blog.

Before I leave you, here's an interesting AP story looking at how the 3 New York State Senators who crossed party lines to vote for gay marriage fared in their primaries today.
We'll have lots of follow-up on the McDonald-Marchione race tomorrow including, answers to these questions:
  • How many absentee ballots are actually out there and when will they be answered?
  • How did the votes break down town-by-town in Saratoga County?
  • Which politicians showed up in support of McDonald and Marchione and how is that split within the party going to affect Saratoga County politics going forward?
  • Who the heck won this thing?

11:57 p.m.
Some photos from tonight... Marchione camp pics by Caitlin Morris, McDonald camp pics by Ed Burke:

11:26 p.m.
 At the Marchione camp, supporter Chris Callaghan said McDonald's advertisements, which he called "beyond the pale" pushed him over Marchione. Regina Parker called McDonald's campaign a "travesty of injustice
Not sure what number they're looking at, but the AP has Marchione ahead district-wide 51% to 49% with 99% of districts reporting (don't know where they got Columbia County numbers, we only see 30% reporting here).
According to the AP, Marchione leads McDonald 6,817 to 6,679.

11:15 p.m.
Sorry for disappearing there, deadline is looming and I just had to finish writing the print version. Tomorrow's headline: TOO CLOSE TO CALL

Fewer than 100 votes tallied in Columbia County; McDonald narrowly took Saratoga County; Marchione narrowly took Rennselaer County (absentee ballots could be a factor in both those counties); no results yet from Wahington County.

10:47 p.m.
Also from Lucian: McDonald says Nov. 6 general election is "still the goal" and would not answer whether he would continue on under just the Independence line. "I'm focused on the Republican line"

10:46 p.m.
Roy McDonald just entered the election results room at the Holiday Inn to big applause. Says "Wow, is this close or what?" and "Stay tuned, we're in extra innings."

10:44 p.m.
Rensselaer County results almost completely in, 56 of 57 districts reporting, and Marchione leads McDonald narrowly: 2,242 to 2,036 votes.

10:40 p.m.
Columbia County continuing to ratchet up my blood pressure by not filing ANY results online. Betsy just spoke to someone at their Board of Elections who said they're counting by hand and hoping to have results soon. GAHHH!

10:39 p.m.
These races are looking very tight, like absentee-ballots-actually-matter tight. According to McDonald's camp there have either been 1,100 absentees returned or mailed out in the district, they're a bit confused on that point. 

10:37 p.m.
In Saratoga County, Marchione is also wining the Conservative primary pretty handily. She leads Edward Gilbert 123 to 20 (99% reporting). If this trend continues across the other counties Marchione will be assured at least one line in the November general election.

10:35 p.m.
Results very slow in Rensselaer County, just 8 of 57 districts reporting and Marchione leads McDonald 290 to 223.
She also leads Gilbert in the Conservative primary in RensCo, 56 to 27.
10:34 p.m.
99% reporting: McDonald leads Marchione in Saratoga County 3,435 to 3,278. We're looking into how many absentee ballots are out there...

10:18 p.m.
The McDonald camp is getting nervous, too.
According to Lucian, a McDonald supporter just cringed while looking at the results and said "ooh, it's getting close." The McDonald camp is reporting district-wide results (50% reporting) as  5,412 to 5,177 in McD's favor

10:13 p.m.
At Marchione's camp, former Saratoga County Treasurer Chris Callaghan on numbers thus far: "The numbers are not as good as we would like to see. We've got to come back from this." Callaghan, interestingly, is one of the names being tossed around as possible successors to Saratoga County GOP Chairman Jasper Nolan. Nolan is set to retire at the end of the year and has been a longtime and outspoken supporter of Roy McDonald. (The other possible heir to Nolan's throne: Saratoga Springs GOP chair John Herrick)

10:05 p.m.
with 90% of machines reporting, Marchione is closing the gap in Saratoga County. McDonald still leads, though, 3,162 to 2,997.

9:50 p.m.
Finally! We have some more results. With only 3 of 57 Rensselaer County districts  reporting, Marchione leads McDonald by ONE vote... See, every vote really does matter.

9:47 p.m.
Saratoga County results coming in steadily, McDonald leads Marchione 2,193 to 1,893 w/ 59% reporting. No results from Columbia, Rensselaer or Washington counties yet. Wah!
Assistant Managing Editor Betsy DeMars is refreshing their websites somewhat obsessively.

9:37 p.m.
Crowd is slowly growing at the McDonald camp. Can you spot some Saratoga County notables in this one?

9:35 p.m.
At the Marchione camp, supporters like what they see in results
Results are still very early and, honestly, what we see online varies wildly from what each campaign is self-reporting... time will tell on this one.

9:27 p.m.
With 27% of machines reporting, McDonald leads Marchione in Saratoga County 1,081 to 885. Still awaiting results from Columbia, Rensselaer and Washington counties. Tick, tock, tick, tock...

9:23 p.m.
This, from Caitlin at Marchione's campaign HQ: "Roy hasn't been a gentleman or a good opponent. As a seasoned retired public official I think he should feel embarrased about the way he's conducted his campaign" — Regina Parker, Halfmoon GOP committee chairwoman

9:21 p.m.
Data is being collated at the Holiday Inn, McDonald's HQ

9:18 p.m.
With 10% of machines reporting, McDonald is leading Marchione in Saratoga County 446 to 324

9:15 p.m.
Numbers are being crunched by the Marchione camp... results starting to trickle in.

and the polls are closed! Commence frantic refreshing of Boards of Elections results websites...

8:52 p.m.
Only a few minutes until polls close tonight. Hopefully we'll have results not long after that.
Tonight's McDonald-Marchione GOP primary is not just closely watched locally. It's on the national radar, too, because of the implications it could have for Republicans supporting gay marriage (in case you've recently woken from a coma: Roy McDonald famously crossed party lines last year and cast a crucial vote in favor of same-sex marriage, all but clinching its legalization in New York)
The New York Times wrote about the primary earlier this week and quoted former Pataki press secretary Robert Bellafiore describing the implications this way:

“The more that the advocates for this are able to tell Republicans that you can do this and live, then the greater success they’re going to have ... But it’s hard to convince somebody to take their first bungee jump if all they see at the bottom of the jump is a bunch of splattered bodies.”


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