ALBANY COUNTY A long and somewhat dirty race finally came to an end when Democrat Phil Steck secured his seat in the 110th Assembly District during the general election.
Friends, family and supporters gathered at the Albany Polish American Club Tuesday night, celebrating several Democratic victories. Steck declared a strong victory over Republican opponent Jennifer Whalen, gaining 30,315 votes to Whalen’s 22,521.
“I want to thank voters of the 110th assembly district for putting their faith in me,” a relaxed Steck said.
Steck thanked the voters for rejecting what he called “‘the 95 percent negative campaigning’ that Republicans ran in this district.”
“I never believed that would work in this community, and it did not work,” Steck said.
Steck and Whalen fought quite a tedious race, with both candidates filing different complaints about one another to the Fair Campaign Practices for the Capital Region, Inc. Whalen also failed to show up to one of the scheduled debates when she felt Steck was misrepresenting her during the campaign.
During their debates, the two candidates often revisited the topic of Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment scandal and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s involvement with the scandal. During his acceptance speech, Steck thanked Silver for his support throughout Steck’s campaign.
“In politics, you play the hand that you were dealt. I was always dealt the hand of the outsider, which is the hand that I played,” Steck said. “But here I want to take the time to give a special thanks to the speaker of the assembly Sheldon Silver and the Democratic Assembly campaign Committee for embracing this outsider and united behind me as a candidate for the Democratic Party. I think there is a real lesson in that for all Democrats.”
After thanking many others, Steck said his campaign manager Dan Brown, Albany County Legislator Joseph O’Brien and Peter Stuto strongly influenced him to run in this race.
“Pete, Joe and Dan were really the ones who convinced me and gave me the confidence to take on this race,” Steck said. “As we can see tonight, I think the results were phenomenal.”
Highlighting his grassroots campaigning strategy, Steck said he’s ready to be the strongest possible advocate for the things most important to the residents in the district.
“It’s been a long road … it was an enjoyable challenge,” Steck said. “Now it’s onto the next challenge, which is addressing those issues in our state government that the voters selected me to address. We begin tomorrow.”