Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk was elected state senator from the 46th District Friday morning with a 69-15 victory over Republican George Amedore after challenged ballots were counted at the Ulster County Board of Elections Friday morning.
Amedore, a former assemblyman from Rotterdam, took a 35-vote advantage into the court-ordered count. But he was beaten by more than a 4-1 margin in Ulster County, 69-15. Tkaczyk, a Duanesburg school board vice president, took 60 percent of the vote in UlsterCounty in the general election.
There were four blank ballots among the 90 opened by Ulster election commissioners Tom Turco and Victor Work. Town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley got two write-in votes. He has not called for a recount.
Amedore was declared a 37-vote winner by an acting state Supreme Court judge in December. That decision was appealed by Tkaczyk to an appellate court which unanimously ruled that 90 more contested ballots should be counted. A five-judge panel from the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, upheld the appellate ruling last week, setting the stage for Friday’s count.
Tkaczyk will be immediately seated as the state Senate’s 63rd senator. Tkaczyk’s seating, however, will not give mainstream Democrats enough votes to break the alliance between Senate Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference — an alliance which currently controls the upper house of the state Legislature.
The 46th includes the towns of Woodstock, Ulster, Saugerties, Lloyd, Hurley and Kingston and the City of Kingston in Ulster County.
A statement issued by Amedore acknowledged the result, but did not congratulate Tkaczyk. “I am proud of the honest and clean campaign that I and my team ran in this extended race,” Amedore stated. “I was supported by the hard-working upstate families who are faced with tremendous challenges in these trying times. The time for politics has ended and the time to govern is at hand.”
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston, congratulated his new colleague. “I look forward to working closely with her for the benefit of our shared constituency and all New Yorkers,” stated Cahill.
“Though it was a protracted fight, it is important we make sure that every vote be counted. My colleagues and I, including Sen. Tkaczyk, will be studying this election and others to find ways to make certain people who take the time to participate in the electoral process can do so unfettered by hyper technical barriers.”