Gillibrand wins full term in Senate

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Gillibrand won re-election, defeating her Republican opponent Wendy Long.File photo
Gillibrand won re-election, defeating her Republican opponent Wendy Long.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand won re-election in a landslide victory over Republican challenger Wendy Long earning the Democrat her first full term in the Senate.

With nearly 96 percent of precincts reporting, Gillibrand secured 72 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.

“So while from the bottom of my heart I thank you for the honor and privilege of continuing to serve this state and to fight for New York families in the United States Senate, rather than focusing on politics tonight, I really want to focus on the New York I see while visiting the families recovering from Hurricane Sandy,” the junior Senator said during her victory speech.

The relatively unknown Long, a Manhattan lawyer, faced an uphill battle against the well-funded Gillibrand, polling well behind her in the Democratic stronghold.

Gillibrand outraised Long by more than 20 to 1 — $15 million to $700,000 — and is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party.

Long, who collected 27 percent of the vote according to unofficial results, bested Congressmember Bob Turner and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos in the June 26 Republican Primary.

The race between the two Dartmouth graduates also marked the first time in New York that two woman faced off in a Senate election.

Gillibrand was first appointed to the Senate by the Governor David Patterson in 2009 to fill the vacant seat left when Hillary Clinton was chosen by Barack Obama as Secretary of State. She maintained the seat during the 2010 special election.

“I can’t thank you enough for your vote, for your confidence and for your willingness to allow me to serve this great state for a six-year term,” she sad.