Scott Murphy headed to Congress

The special election was anything but lengthy, though, at least before the polls closed. The congressional seat was vacated when Gov. David Paterson appointed Kirsten Gillibrand to a vacated Senate seat on Jan. 23, and the parties selected candidates soon thereafter.

Both parties cited their candidates' ability to quickly raise money in their selection criteria.

According to Federal Elections Commission financial disclosures, the two campaigns managed to spend more than $3 million by Election Day. Most of Murphy's $1.8 million and Tedisco's $1.3 million went toward television advertisements.

The election gained national attention when President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus package became the primary issue. Murphy gained much of his momentum while berating Tedisco for avoiding taking a stance on the bill.

In the wake of Tedisco's concession, Democrats were quick to chalk the election up as a positive referendum on the stimulus and Republicans downplayed the fact Murphy won in the supposed GOP stronghold with a 70,000 Republican voter plurality.

Saratoga County Republican Committee Chairman John "Jasper" Nolan largely chalked up the loss to a high level of support for Obama and the fact Murphy won the Independence Party line, typically where Republican candidates are found.

"One thing we kind of overlooked is we're running in a period of time where Obama has a pretty high rate of likeability," he said. "Also, Gillibrand during her brief career in that Congressional seat, she didn't hit any home runs but she hit enough singles to keep herself on the front page. She didn't leave with any real negativity."

It's time for the GOP to look towards the November elections and continue building support in Saratoga County, said Nolan. Tedisco won the district's most populous county by more than 4,800 votes or by about 54 percent.

Saratoga County Democratic Committee Chairman Larry Bulman said that the strength of Obama's administration"and his direct endorsement of Murphy"played a definite role in the win, but maintained that Dems ran a better coordinated campaign.

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