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Republican Saland allows for quicker ballot count in downstate Senate race

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— New York state Sen. Stephen Saland may soon be the latest casualty among Republicans who crossed the aisle to vote for the legalization of gay marriage last year.

The Republican says he’s calling off his lawyer to allow for a quick count of absentee ballots in the Hudson Valley’s 41st Senate District. Democrat Terry Gipson has held a consistent lead so far.

If Saland loses, then two of four Republicans who cast critical votes for gay marriage last year will have lost their seats. A third retired because of opposition to his vote, and a fourth was re-elected. Sen. Roy McDonald of the 43rd District lost his bid for re-election, bowing to Kathleen Marchione in the Republican primary.

If Gipson’s lead holds, Democrats will have 32 seats in the chamber that requires 32 to pass legislation. However, Republicans have formed a power-sharing majority with five breakaway Democrats.

The 41st District is made up of much of Columbia and Dutchess counties, including Kinderhook, Valatie, Chatham and Philmont in Columbia County.



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