Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione isn’t waiting for a concession from state Sen. Roy McDonald to declare victory in the Republican primary for the 43rd Senate District.
“We did it,” Marchione announced to a group of supporters gathered at her Clifton Park headquarters on Tuesday.
With all but about 50 votes left to count in the entire district, Marchione has a more than 100-vote lead. McDonald, who has not contacted her, released a statement Monday saying his campaign is weighing its options. At this point, though, his only options in the Republican primary are to push for a hand recount or to concede.
Marchione isn’t waiting for McDonald to throw in the towel, and neither are local Republican officials such as Saratoga County Republican Committee Chairman Jasper Nolan.
Nolan, an ardent supporter of McDonald during the contentious primary, said he and the county committee are throwing their weight behind Marchione.
He understood that some in the party might be upset with the reversal but he stressed that Marchione was the Republican nominee now.
For her part, Marchione appears to have reconciled with Nolan and the factions of the Republican Party that supported McDonald.
“We work together. We’re Republicans,” said Marchione. “The primary is over and we go forward unified as far as I’m concerned.”
The break in that unity could be McDonald’s presence on the ballot in the fall. He is the Independence Party candidate and it is virtually impossible for him to be removed from the ballot, but he can choose not to campaign. McDonald told The Daily Gazette after primary night that he planned to move forward as the Independence candidate regardless of whether he was the Republican nominee.
Marchione acknowledged that possibility and said it was McDonald’s prerogative to do so.
McDonald is expected to make a statement about his campaign at the end of the week or early next week.
Marchione’s campaign is full steam ahead for the general election, where she’ll be the Republican and Conservative candidate. Her message won’t change for the general election, she said.
It’s not clear whether the state Senate Republican Campaign Committee has acknowledged Marchione as the winner, as she has yet to hear from its top officials.
It’s not clear who, if anyone, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will back in the general election. He has publicly been rooting for McDonald in his primary and left open the possibility of endorsing him in the general election.
According to the latest campaign finance filings this week, Marchione has about $20,000 to spend and McDonald has $25,000. Democratic candidate Robin Andrews had about $24,000 in July.