JOHNSTOWN - Republican State Sen. Hugh T. Farley of Niskayuna was re-elected Tuesday to his 19th term in the state Legislature, handily beating Democrat challenger Madelyn C. Thorne of Schenectady for the new 49th Senate District seat.
Farley will be the senior member of the state Senate.
With 96 percent of the state Senate vote in for their race, Farley led Thorne by a 60 to 40 percent ratio. Farley gained 61,366 votes to 40,886 for Thorne.
State Sen. Hugh Farley, left, shakes hands with Cathy VanAlstyne, president of the Women’s Republican Club of Fulton County as Sue McNeil, chairwoman of the Fulton County Republican Committee, looks on at Patricia’s restaurant in Johnstown on Tuesday.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
In Fulton County, unofficial results showed Farley winning by 10,423 Republican votes over Thorne's 4,464 Democratic votes. Farley also had 1,262 Conservative votes and 548 Independence votes.
"I'm in a new district," Farley said during a victory celebration Tuesday night. "I had one of my biggest wins. I'm thrilled with it."
The 80-year-old Farley, who has represented the area since 1976, will venture into new areas. As a result of redistricting by the state Legislature (starting next year), his new 49th State Senate District will include all of Fulton and Hamilton counties, as well as northern Herkimer County, eastern Schenectady County and western Saratoga County. It excludes Montgomery County, which he formerly represented.
Farley said he was "excited" about his new two-year term and called his opponent "gracious." The annual base salary of a member of the state Senate is $79,500.
"We've got a lot of challenges," Farley said. "There are the [economic] dynamics of Hurricane Sandy."
Meanwhile, Democrat Madelyn C. Thorne of Schenectady, the director of pastoral care at the Glendale Nursing Home in Scotia, also was celebrating Tuesday night in Schenectady.
She said she was doing better in her home area, but conceded she lost to Farley.
"We had a good race," Thorne said. "It wasn't two to one."
Thorne said her campaign was "absolutely worth it." She added: "I had a great time. I had a chance to talk about the issues. This is all good."
Farley already holds a leadership position in the state Senate and is chairman of Majority Program Development. He also serves as vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks and also is a member of the following committees: Aging, Education, Ethics, Health, Finance, Rules and Social Services.