The votes are in -- and although a few races still hang in the balance, most of the big contests were settled decisively.
Incumbents across the region mostly fared well. Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand trounced Republican challenger Wendy Long by roughly 3 to 1, in a race that held few surprises.
Republican Congressman Chris Gibson won reelection by a comfortable 20,000-vote margin over challenger Julian Schreibman in the new 19th District, with the Times Herald-Record reporting 136,038 Gibson votes to Schreibman's 117,923. (Schreibman's home county may have to get used to not being Maurice Hinchey territory anymore: Ulster County voted overwhelmingly for Schreibman in the Congressional race, with Schreibman earning 39,194 votes to Gibson's 28,525.)
Republican incumbents fared well in local state Senate contests. Without a challenger on the ballot, incumbent Republican John Bonacic will represent a newly-redrawn 42nd district. In the 51st state Senate district, incumbent Republican James Seward won handily over Democratic challenger Howard Lieb. In the 52nd, incumbent Republican Thomas Libous took more than 60 percent of the vote over Democratic challenger John Orzel.
In several other state Senate districts in the Catskills region, the contests were less clear. The 39th district looks like it will go to incumbent Republican William Larkin, who currently holds a lead over Democratic challenger Christopher Eachus, but an official announcement had not yet been made. A contest in the 46th district between Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk and Republican George Amedore is still too close to call today, with Tkaczyk holding a slim lead of less than 200 votes over her opponent.
All local Assembly races went to incumbents, although many of this year's new Assembly districts bear little resemblance to their old counterparts.
Incumbent Democrat Aileen Gunther held onto her seat against Republican challenger Gary Linton in the 100th Assembly district.In the 101st district, incumbent Republican Claudia Tenney decisively beat Democratic challenger Daniel Carter, hanging on to her seat despite a radically different new district that sprawled across seven counties and left her with little of the territory she represented in the old 116th. In the 102nd, incumbent Republican Pete Lopez beat Democratic challenger James Miller by nearly two to one in unofficial counts. In the 104th, Democratic incumbent Frank Skartados took over 76 percent of the vote against Republican challenger Christine Bello.
A few highlights from local races:
A couple of Republican incumbents were ousted from the Greene County Legislature, which will swear in two new Democrats and two new Republicans in January.
A race for Delaware County judge between Republican incumbent Carl Becker and Democratic challenger Gary Rosa still hangs in the balance, with Becker leading 8,335 to Rosa's 8,160. Absentee ballots will have to be counted before the race can be decided.
The Greene County town of Prattsville reelected its incumbent supervisor, Democrat Kory O'Hara, who got 188 votes to Republican challenger Greg Cross's 122. Incumbent Republican supervisor Michael Spaccaforno held onto his seat in the Delaware County town of Masonville, beating challenger Troy Ramage 287-149 in unofficial counts.
In the Delaware County town of Sidney, a five-way race for two seats on the town council went to Democrats Tobias Whitaker and William Heath, who earned 965 and 914 votes respectively in unofficial counts.
The Schoharie County town of Gilboa voted overwhelmingly to allow bingo and games of chance, with two propositions on the ballot earning roughly 74 percent and 62 percent of the vote, respectively. Vices didn't do so well in the Sullivan County dry town of Neversink, where a proposition to allow restaurants to sell alcohol failed 685-799.