Happiness and heartbreak

Chris Gibson (photo by Will Dendis)

Bucking what he called a “negative, divisive” campaign by Democrat Julian Schreibman and a heavy vote for president Barack Obama, Republican Chris Gibson scored a convincing 18,000-vote win for a second term in Congress on Tuesday night. Locally, he’ll be replacing Democrat Maurice Hinchey in the newly configured 19th district.

In the four-way race for state Supreme Court judge in the Third Judicial District, Michael Kavanagh of Woodstock, a Republican incumbent, led here in his home county with 35,910, but apparently missed reelection in the seven-county district by some 8000 votes, according to unofficial reports. Democrat Richard Mott of Columbia County topped the four way race for two seats with almost 164,000 votes, 16,500 more than runner-up fellow Democrat Stephen Schick of Sullivan County. Republican Bernard Malone of Albany County trailed in Ulster and finished last in the race with 122,655 with 796 of 797 districts reporting. .

“When we saw the turnout, we [he and Malone] kind of knew,” Kavanagh said. “In any event, my judicial career is over. My main concern now is that my [two-person] staff is taken care of.” Kavanagh, 69, a former Ulster County district attorney, said he is considering private practice. He has been a prosecutor or a judge his entire 45-year legal career.


Meanwhile, Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk was holding a thin 139-vote margin over Republican assemblyman George Amedore in the 46th state senate district race. Should Tkaczyk prevail, her victory, combined with veteran Republican Steve Saland’s loss in his Dutchess-Columbia district, could give Democrats a narrow majority in the state senate. Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo endorsed Saland (primarily on his vote for gay marriage last year), but did not endorse Tkaczyk.

With unofficial results from the eleven-county 19th Congressional District largely complete, Gibson held a five-point lead over Schreibman. In Ulster County, favorite son Schreibman of Stone Ridge beat the Kinderhook native and first-term congressman by almost 11,000 votes, with 164 of 166 districts reporting. But that lead wasn’t enough to offset Gibson margins in the heavily Republican northern part of the district.

Schreibman said he did not concede until after midnight because his side was still counting votes. “I believe in the facts,” he said. “And the facts were, he had more votes than I did. The conversation with the congressman was brief. I called to congratulate him and wish him well. He thanked me and hung up.”

Schreibman said he planned to take time off with his family after a grueling six-month campaign.

The new district formed by the merger of parts of retiring Maurice Hinchey’s district and Gibson’s, includes all of Ulster, Columbia, Greene, Delaware, Sullivan, Schoharie and Otsego counties and parts of Broome (northern) Dutchess, Montgomery and Rensselaer.

Schreibman, a former chairman of the Ulster County Democratic Committee, was much the aggressor during a six-month campaign that saw both candidates spend more than a million dollars. Support from Washington-based “super-PACs (Political Action Committees) more than doubled those totals.