U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillilbrand was convincingly re-elected Tuesday night to her second six-year term by New York voters, overwhelming her Republican challenger, Chele Farley
With most election districts counted Wednesday morning, Gillibrand had accumulated 64.45 percent of the vote to Farley's 32.51 percent.
"People have made their voices heard, no matter the cost, no matter how hard," Gillibrand told her supporters Tuesday night. "We've been working hard all across the state, district by district, vote by vote, and it all started with the women's march two years ago. You could argue for women's reproductive rights, for clean water, black lives matter or for clean air and water. It just mattered that you marched two years ago and it hasn't stopped since."
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Gillibrand didn't fare quite as well in Schenectady County as she did across the state, winning 59 percent of the vote to Farley's 41 percent. Inside Schenectady County, she got 30,627 votes to Farley's 20,888.
"Tonight we start moving forward, again," said Gillibrand. "We know with this administration in Washington the country was heading in the wrong direction. The president and his party do not reflect our country's values or the values of the Founding Fathers of our constitutional democracy. The attacks on our institutions like the free press, the independence of our judiciary and the independence of our Department of Justice don't represent our values."
- Gillibrand (D): 3,732,014 - 64.45%
- Farley (R): 1,882,251 - 32.51%
- Blank: 169,729 - 2.93%
- 15,453 of 15,529 districts reporting
- New York State Board of Elections
An Albany native who attended the Academy of Holy Names in Albany and Emma Willard School in Troy, Gillibrand majored in Asian Studies at Dartmouth College and went on to get her law degree from UCLA School of Law. After working in New York and Albany as an attorney, she entered politics and won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 20th District in 2006, winning 53 percent of the vote to defeat Republican incumbent John Sweeney.
Gillibrand won again in 2008, defeating Republican Sandy Treadwell, 62-38 percent. In January of 2009, she was appointed U.S. senator by Gov. David Paterson when Hillary Clinton left her Senate seat for a spot in President Barack Obama's cabinet.
Gillibrand then won a special election in 2010 to secure the U.S. Senate seat, defeating Joseph DioGuardi, 63-35 percent. She was re-elected in 2012 with a whopping 72.2 percent of the vote over Republican Wendy Long.
Farley, a Boston native and a graduate of Stanford University, is a private equity executive living in New York City. She supports President Donald Trump and, according to a New York Times article last week, has called the migrant caravan from Honduras an "invasion," and has "lamented what she said was the #MeToo movement's erosion of due process."
Gillibrand, a Brunswick resident, spent her campaign talking about a "Medicare for All" health care system along with touting equal rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people.
Gillibrand, 51, raised more than $20 million for her 2018 campaign compared to the $1.2 million collected by Farley.
Gillibrand, who is married and has two children, is New York's junior senator. Fellow Democrat Charles Schumer was elected in 1998 and will be up for re-election in 2022.