Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Saland dropped lawsuit in 41st Senate District race

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Albany/HV: Saland dropped lawsuit in 41st Senate District race
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He hasn't officially conceded, but he is acknowledging defeat could be the forecast. 41st Senate District incumbent Steve Saland drops a lawsuit and withdraws challenges over absentee ballot count. YNN's Elaina Athans has more, including his successor's response.

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Ballot counting at the Dutchess County Board of Elections is moving a lot quicker. A legal fight for a State Senate seat is over. 41st District incumbent Steve Saland drops a lawsuit over absentee and affidavit ballots in the race against Challenger Terry Gipson, who had a sliver lead over the Saland election night and declared victory.

"We’ve won this race and we're moving forward. There are no additional lawsuits that I'm aware of. Every ballot is now being opened," said Gipson.

Saland, who held office for 32 years, said in a statement, "It has been a great honor for me to serve the good people of the Hudson Valley as their New York State Senator." He adds, "It is becoming apparent that we may not gain enough in the end to ultimately be successful."

Though Saland has withdrawn his challenge, he has not conceded. The Board of Elections has yet to officially call this race.

"Staff is going to working a lot of hours, working through a lot of lunches," said Dutchess County Board of Elections Commissioner Erik Haight.

A commissioner says the lawsuit impeded the process since attorneys from both campaigns sat, reviewed and could challenge every ballot opened. That methodical system is over, but there are still 5,500 documents to sort through.

"There’s mathematically possibilities and then there’s realistic possibilities," said Haight. "I think the senator made a realistic decision based on the remaining towns and remaining ballots.”

The Board of Elections is hoping to finish the work and proclaim a victor by Friday.

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