Pro-Equality Republican Stephen Saland Declared Winner In NY State-Senate Primary

State Sen. Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie, one of just four Republicans who crossed the aisle to support New York State’s marriage-equality law last year, has been declared the winner in an incredibly close primary race.

After a tally of absentee ballots, the Dutchess County Democratic Elections Commission announced incumbent Saland had emerged on top, with 286 ballots to challenger Neil DiCarlo’s 217. In the September 13 primary, Saland’s 42-vote lead was considered too close to call. Now he’ll run on the Republican and Independence party lines in November against Democrat Terry Gipson.

LGBT advocates have been watching the race as a harbinger of what kind of backlash Republican politicians can expect if they stand up for what’s right.

Based on this accounting, at least, not much.

Of the other three aisle-crossing GOPers, Roy McDonald (R-Monroe County) is still in the midst of a recount, while Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo) soundly won his primary. Sen. James Alesi did not seek reelection.