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A Close Race In The 102nd Assembly District

Democrat Aidan O'Connor Jr. (left) and Republican Chris Tague (right)

A race to determine who will represent New York’s 102nd Assembly District is too close to call. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard takes a look at the results.

Three candidates tossed their hats into the ring for the 102nd District, which includes all of Schoharie County and parts of Otsego, Delaware, Greene, Columbia, Ulster and Albany Counties.

Since the legislative session began in January, the district has been without an Assemblyperson after Republican Pete Lopez was appointed Regional Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in September. 

According to unofficial results, Republican Chris Tague leads the pack with 8,547 votes, about 45 percent of votes cast.

Democrat Aidan O’Connor Jr. is in a close second with 8,259 votes, or 44 percent.

Independent Wes Laraway received 1,809 votes, about 9 percent.

Neither of the major party candidates are declaring victory just yet. The race may be decided by absentee ballots. 

Tague, who currently serves as Schoharie town supervisor, thanked his supporters and was confident his lead would hold but also asked them to stay tuned…

“Mr. O’Connor and Mr. Laraway both worked very hard. And I think out of respect for them, I just don’t feel comfortable coming out and saying ‘I’m the victor.’

O’Connor had a similar message for his supporters…

“To be continued. I like to tell everyone don’t lose that momentum, don’t lose that enthusiasm,” said O’Connor.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Laraway said he was humbled and flattered by his supporters. He adds.

“I have no regrets at all. We did the right thing for the right reasons. I am not done being a positive change in N.Y. State. I will share what I am doing and I will never stop fighting for what is right.”

Tague said he campaigned on three issues that he thought resonated with voters.

“You know, I think the opioid the heroin issue is a big thing. I think taxes, especially in rural upstate New York. And a lot is just infrastructure and economic development,” said Tague.

O’Connor, a Greene County legislator, ran on tackling the opioid addiction crisis and improving access to rural healthcare.

O’Connor said he hoped his supporters heard his message:

“I want to take care of everyone, regardless of party politics. I wanted to see what’s best for human beings, what’s best for our communities, and I truly believe that resonated with a lot of people,” said O’Connor.

Absentee ballots are expected to be counted in early May.

The winner will serve the remainder of Lopez’s term, which runs through the end of the year.

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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