Republicans and Democrats were in a pitched battle for control of the state Senate, with Democrats appearing to cut into the Republicans’ majority.
Sen. Stephen Saland, R-Poughkeepsie, was trailing Democrat Terry Gipson in a district that stretches across Dutchess and Putnam counties. With 95 reporting, Gipson had nearly a 2,000-vote lead, according to unofficial results.
Democrats were also leading in a critical Westchester County Senate seat. With 44 percent reporting, Democrat George Latimer, an assemblyman from Rye, held a 53 percent to 47 percent over Republican Bob Cohen in a race to succeed Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer, D-Mamaroneck, Westchester County, according to unofficial results.
Democrats appeared to have won a Monroe County Senate seat held by retiring Sen. James Alesi, R-Perinton, Monroe County. Democrat Ted O’Brien declared victory, holding a nearly 5,000-unoffical-vote lead, or a 52 percent to 48 percent margin.
Sen. Michael Gianaris, D-Queens, who heads the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, was confident late Tuesday.
“Democrats are coming back to the majority in the state Senate,” Gianaris said.
Republicans held the Senate majority for more than 40 years, but lost in 2008 during the last presidential election. Republicans regained the majority in 2010.
A new Senate seat was a competition between George Amedore, a Republican assemblyman from Rotterdam, Schenectady County, and Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk, a school board member. A Siena poll last week showed Amedore with a small lead in district that runs from the Albany area to Ulster County.
Amedore told supporters Tuesday night that “we feel confident that we are the strong winner.”