NY Sen. Gillibrand Wins Election for 1st Full Term

NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand attends the 25th annual Brooklyn tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House on January 17, 2011.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has won election to her first full term representing New York, fending off a challenge from Republican Wendy Long.

Gillibrand was in the unusual position of facing voters twice in two years after being tapped in 2009 to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton, who became secretary of state. Gillibrand won the right to finish out the final two years of Clinton's old term in 2010. This time, she ran for a six-year term.

Gillibrand has steadily built support statewide over the past three years after initial criticism that she was too conservative and lacked gravity.

Long is a New York City lawyer who won a three-way primary in June after promoting her opposition to any tax increases and same-sex marriage.