"This is not the end of the campaign, this is a prelude to the great service in the district by our new congressman, Scott Murphy," he said.
In an end to his speech that seemed to mirror his own troubles, Paterson reminded listeners that Murphy had been down in the polls just weeks ago. "If you believe enough and you try hard enough, you can accomplish anything, and we just did," he said.
As criticism grows over the closed nature of budget talks at the state capitol, however, Republicans argued that a Democratic plurality is not what citizens need in their legislatures.
"It's important that we send Jim to Washington to restore some of the balance to the house," said Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson. "The budget process is a prime example of what happens when you have an imbalance of power. The only time our government works well is when you have checks and balances."
Saratoga County went for Tedisco, with an unofficial tally of 30,247 votes to 25,837.
Saratoga County Democratic Committee Chairman Larry Bulman said that the numbers in his county were not disappointing.
"I knew we weren't going to win in Saratoga County. I would have liked to see us within 2,500 votes," he said, adding that the party has made great gains in the 20th since the pre-Gillibrand era, when the seat was a Republican stronghold.
"If we can come within 12,000 to 13,000 votes in Saratoga County, we were doing better," Bulman said of past performance in the district. "We're going to bed happy."
Both campaigns waged a hard-fought battle over the short span of time allowed in the special election, and those efforts extended into the last moments of the race.
Tedisco started an all-night final push on Monday evening with a "Night Shift" effort, as the candidate greeted night shift workers at Finch Paper in Glens Falls between touring 24-hour diners and stores. In the morning, he shook hands with commuters at the Crossing Park and Ride in Clifton Park before stopping at some of the district's many diners and restaurants all day.