PLATTSBURGH — Incumbent Janet Duprey pulled out an apparent win in a hotly contested three-way primary race for the 115th District State Assembly seat Thursday.
“I am a little disappointed in the margin in Clinton County, but you have to be practical because it’s a three-way race,” Duprey told a crowd of about 50 supporters at the West Side Ballroom as she declared victory at 10:42 p.m.
“But I feel comfortable going into the general election because of the bipartisan support we have.”
The district covers all of Clinton and Franklin counties and four towns in St. Lawrence County.
Duprey unofficially won Clinton County with 832 votes over Karen Bisso, who had 670 votes, and David Kimmel with 502.
In Franklin County, Duprey led Bisso by a count of 529 to 185, with Kimmel garnering 83 votes.
No figures were available from St. Lawrence County, but Duprey said she lost those four towns by a total margin of 18 votes with only 115 people going to the polls.
Overall, turnout was low; election officials estimated it to be between 10 and 15 percent.
“A lot of people I talked to before the vote said they assumed I was going to win,” Duprey said, speculating that many of her supporters did not bother to turn out.
“I don’t know what else to do to get people out there.”
‘A BIT ANNOYED’
Duprey was first elected in 2006 after serving as Clinton County treasurer for 25 years. Some Republicans have not been on board with her support of abortion rights and gay marriage in recent years.
Bisso and Kimmel hoped to take advantage of the discord, but Duprey said she feels she won the primary because most in the party are satisfied with the direction the state is now going in.
“The party is changing, and I am all right with that, but I haven’t changed,” Duprey said.
“I still work hard and still stand behind what I believe in.”
Duprey told her crowd of supporters that she was a bit annoyed that she had to run a primary after 37 years in the party and 14 elections wins.
“Things were incredibly nasty and difficult at times, and that is why tonight is especially nice,” she said.
‘THERE IS DISSENT’
Bisso said the close results show that party members are fed up and want a change.
“If you add my numbers and Kimmel’s numbers, we win, and that clearly shows there is dissent, and people are not happy,” she said.
Bisso, a Plattsburgh City School District teacher, will run in the November election as a Conservative Party candidate.
“I am still hopeful, and I am going to spend every day doing the job I think our assemblyperson should be doing, and I will work harder and get out and meet even more people,” she said.
ABSENTEES TO COME
Kimmel did not respond to several attempts to reach him for comment.
If the win holds up, Duprey will face Democrat Timothy Carpenter, a City of Plattsburgh councilor from Ward 1, as well as Bisso on the Conservative line in the November election.
More than 500 absentee ballots were sent out to voters prior to the election. They must be returned by Sept. 20 to be counted. As of Thursday, 179 ballots were waiting to be tallied in Clinton County and 91 in Franklin County.
No information on absentee ballots in St. Lawrence County was available.
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