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Doheny concedes to Owens in House-seat battle

November 7, 2012
Staff and wire reports

Republican challenger Matthew Doheny conceded Tuesday night to incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Owens in the race for the 21st congressional district.

With 98 percent of the voting precincts reporting, Owens, a Democrat, had 113,921 votes, while Doheny had 108,378 votes. Donald Hassig, a Green Party candidate, had 3,638 votes. The numbers showed Owens with 50 percent of the vote, compared to Doheny's 48 percent.

In his victory speech in Plattsburgh, Owens said it is an honor to represent the 21st District, which includes Fulton and Hamilton counties.

"I will continue to work to bring the middle class up because that is what will bring the country forward," he said.

Owens thanked his supporters, saying a tremendous amount of work went into his re-election campaign.

"It's an honor to represent each and everyone of you in Congress," he said.

Owens said he wants to keep working to better the middle class "because ultimately, that is what will bring the country forward."

"My hope is that what this causes us to do is to come to rational compromise in the next few weeks, [and] we get through the lame-duck session with something plausible to show the American people."

Appearing before supporters in Watertown, Doheny said he called his opponent to congratulate him on a "hard-fought victory."

"We came up short; it's that simple," Doheny said. "We worked at this for quite some time; we put a lot of resources against Mr. Owens. ... It wasn't for lack of effort. ... Sometimes, I've learned in politics, things just don't go your way."

As a result of an impound order filed by the Owens campaign about a week ago, the ballots and voting materials have been secured and the 12-county election commissioners will appear Friday in court in Albany.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard Platkin signed the impound order into effect Monday.

"It's a standard practice these days," Owens spokesman Jon Boughtin said.

In Fulton County voting, Doheny won with 9,467 (58 percent) compared to 6,645 for Owens (41 percent), according to unofficial results. Hassig received 315 votes.

This is the second time in two years Doheny has challenged Owens for his seat in Congress, but this time there was no threat of a Conservative candidate splitting the vote.

Doheny ran on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines, and Owens ran on the Democratic and Working Families lines.

Owens, 63, lives in Plattsburgh, where he practiced law for 30 years and became a managing partner at Stafford, Owens, Piller, Murnane & Trombley. He has spent almost three years in Congress and was elected in 2009 to fill John McHugh's seat, who was named secretary of the Army.

Doheny, 42, lives in Watertown and started North Country Capital in 2010, which lends money to startups, invests in business expansions and assists businesses in distress.

The new district includes all or part of 11 counties. House representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $174,000 per year.

The Adirondack Daily Enterprise contributed to this report.



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