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Tedisco Takes Republican Primary In New York's 49th Senate District

Lucas Willard

STORY UPDATED 9/14/16 11:10 a.m.

The sprawling 49th Senate district that stretches from Schenectady deep into the Adirondacks has been held by Republican Hugh Farley for four decades.

Farley, who is retiring at the end of the year, congratulated Tedisco on his win Tuesday night.

“Jimmy, we’re very proud of you, and you know what? He can run fast and he’s going to hit that floor running,” said Farley.

“Thank you, Senator,” replied Tedisco.

Taking to the podium at his Clifton Park campaign headquarters, the Assemblyman who has represented the Capital Region since 1982 thanked a long list of supporters and spoke about his record as a vocal minority party member.

“In the final analysis it’s the character, content and quality of your record, your ability to communicate with the citizens and bring their needs as a representative. Too many of my colleagues out there represent themselves and their families. We’re not elected to represent to ourselves and our families. I’m going to be elected to the 49th Senatorial District to represent the people who have given me the honor to be there and I have to continually be in touch with them,” said Tedisco.

The future of the Senate hangs in the balance. Currently it is held by a slim majority of Republicans and a group of breakaway Democrats. The Assembly and governor’s office are run by Democrats.

Tedisco has maintained that keeping the majority is important to provide balance in state government.

The unofficial results Wednesday morning showed Tedisco taking 60 percent of the vote with 8,249 ballots.

Tedisco fended off a challenge from political newcomer Christian Klueg, a Northville realtor. Klueg carried his native Fulton County by a wide margin and also eked out a win in Hamilton County.

The Assemblyman — who narrowly missed winning a Congressional seat in 2009 — was gracious toward his primary rival.

“Anyone who wants to get into this arena, I’m excited about.  I appreciate that and I told him and I’d work as hard as I could when I got to the Senate to make him even more successful as a small businessman,” said Tedisco.

Despite the defeat, Klueg was upbeat Wednesday morning as he reflected on his campaign that he began a year-and-a-half ago.

“I have no regrets. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I got to meet a lot of great people as I was out campaigning and I’m excited for what the future holds,” said Klueg.

Tedisco will go on to face Democrat Chat Putman in November.

Celebrating alongside Tedisco was Republican Mary Beth Walsh, who defeated primary challenger Jim Fischer in the race for Tedisco’s 112th Assembly District seat. Walsh will face Democrat Michael Godlewski on Election Day.
In Saratoga and Washington Counties, Republican Chris Boyark defeated Gerard Moser and will go on to challenge Democratic incumbent Carrie Woerner for the 113th Assembly District seat

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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