PLATTSBURGH — Incumbent Republican Janet Duprey easily defeated Conservative Party candidate Karen Bisso and Democratic challenger Timothy Carpenter in the race for the 115th State Assembly District.
The unofficial totals on Tuesday night were 19,219 for Duprey, 9,563 for Carpenter and 8,235 for Bisso, with one district left to report in St. Lawrence County and 15 in Franklin County as of midnight.
“It feels good, folks. Thank you,” Duprey said to her supporters at West Side Ballroom.
She said this was the worst campaign she’s been involved in in 37 years in politics. Duprey said it was nice to see the person behind that effort do so poorly, obviously alluding to Bisso.
“I have never been in such a nasty campaign as the one that’s been tossed at me this year,” she said.
Duprey said her large margin of victory was due to her sticking to a positive message, that she wanted to show her family it is possible to stay positive and succeed and not have to bow down to bullies.
She called a number of family members to join her at the podium.
“When people ask me why I was doing this again, this is why,” she said.
She said she has worked hard in her time in office and will continue to do so.
“I’d like to think (the win is) a recognition that I work hard and in a bipartisan manner,” Duprey said.
Carpenter said he was grateful for everyone who supported him during the campaign and on Election Day. He said it has been a positive experience, even in defeat.
“There are pluses and minuses to both winning and losing,” he said. “I explained to my kids that it doesn’t hurt to take chances.”
He said all the candidates realize the need to improve the economy, create more jobs and get more people back to work.
On the plus side, he said, he gets to work toward those goals as he continues to serve on the City of Plattsburgh Common Council.
“I would have missed my work with the city,” he said.
Carpenter said it was a clean campaign, on his part.
“You don’t get anywhere by being negative,” he said.
‘DISGUSTED WITH SYSTEM’
Bisso told the Press-Republican she is very proud of all of the work she and her supporters did throughout her campaign.
“I go to bed every single night thinking that I did the very best job that I possibly could,” she said. “I tried to touch as many people as I possibly could.
“I didn’t have the money that Janet had,” Bisso continued at Meron’s bar in Plattsburgh. “I didn’t seek endorsements like Janet did. I didn’t take money from special-interest groups as Janet did, and I tried to do it totally grassroots and totally clean.”
Bisso said she is not sure if she will ever run for office again, as she feels the political process she was subjected to wasn’t moral or ethical.
“I’m incredibly disgusted with the political-party system in Clinton County and even in the other counties,” she said.
Bisso said she thinks people were intimidated into not supporting her and was told some weren’t allowed to sign or carry her petitions.
“There was intimidation, there was strong-arming, there was corruption, and we stayed above the fray and did everything that we could to make sure that we didn’t tackle any of that stuff and that we just stayed pure to our message and to the people.”
Duprey defeated Bisso and David Kimmel in a Republican Party primary in September.
Email Dan Heath