GOP State Senator Who Supported Gay Marriage Claims Primary Victory

Republican State Senator Steve Saland, one of three key Republican senators who helped pass same sex marriage last year and faced re-election, is claiming victory in his tough primary challenge.

A deputy commissioner with the Dutchess County Board of Election confirmed that Saland has a 107 vote lead after a recount in the 41st Senate District in Poughkeepsie, with only a few dozen contested ballots left to count — not enough to swing the vote towards Saland’s opponent, Neil Di Carlo.

“Given the outcome of the absentee ballot count, I am honored and gratified the Republican voters have supported and selected me to serve as their candidate,” Saland wrote in a statement.

Saland is now the second Republican senator who supported same-sex marriage last year to fend off a primary challenge. Senator Mark Grisanti of Buffalo easily won his primary election on September 13 by 20 points.

The other Republican facing a challenge over, in part, his vote on same-sex marriage hasn’t fared so well. Senator Roy McDonald of Saratoga trailed his opponent, Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione, by 163 after Election Day. While the recount in the race for the Republican line in the 43rd Senate district is still being conducted, reports on its progress indicate a continued lead by Marchione.

Results in the 43rd District are expected later this week.