HUDSON VALLEY, N.Y. -- It is now official. Veteran lawmaker Steve Saland has conceded the race for the 41st State Senate District. This comes after a final count of absentee ballots revealed Terry Gipson as the unofficial winner of the race.
Saland offered Gipson his "sincerest congratulations." He also says he commends the Putnam County and Dutchess County Board of Elections for their hard work and diligence during the ballot counting process.
The senator also thanked his constituents, saying, "I would like to thank the people I have represented for the last 32 years in both the Assembly and the Senate for the privilege of serving them."
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos says he wishes Saland the best. Skelos says Saland is a highly respected lawmaker and a dear friend.
He released a statement saying, "Steve Saland has been an important and influential voice for the Hudson Valley and his shoes will be difficult to fill. In addition, he has been a valuable member of the Senate Republican Conference on key issues for more than 20 years. His leadership and his friendship will be sorely missed."
Governor Andrew Cuomo released a statement Thursday, commending Saland for all the work he has done.
He said, in part, "Senator Stephen Saland has been an exemplary representative for the Hudson Valley whose leadership has made New York a better place...Throughout his career, he championed issues that directly affected New Yorkers...As a result of his courage, tens of thousands of couples here in New York State have the freedom to marry whom they choose. Steve is a public servant of remarkable character, integrity, and courage and serves as a model for our collective aspirations of how our elected officials should perform...I thank Steve for his work on behalf of the people of the state of New York..."