It's too close to call in the Republican Primary for the 41st Senate district. Senator Steve Saland and Neil DiCarlo are separated by fewer than just 50 votes. As our John Wagner tells us, the race's outcome will not be known any time soon.
HUDSON VALLEY, N.Y. -- "I'd much rather be up 42, than down 42," said Senator Steve Saland.
With nearly 10,000 ballots tallied, less than 50 votes separate 32 year state lawmaker Stephen Saland and political newcomer Neil DiCarlo.
"Tonight I proved that we're back, we are going to represent the people and traditional marriage and strong fiscal policy, it's what's going to resonate in District 41," said DiCarlo.
"We're not waiting for the absentees, we're just going to press forward with confidence that we are going to be the Republican candidate," said Saland.
Although more than 600 absentee ballots await opening, both Saland and DiCarlo say they are confident they will come out on top. As no surprise the Marriage Equality Act took center stage in this race. With Saland voting for gay marriage last year, the lightning rod issue galvanized opposition.
"What the one issue did was wake up sleeping giants to look at all the issues," said Don Minichino, Dutchess County Conservative Party Committee Member.
"I took my message to the people and my message resonated with them. And they remembered what he did in June of 2011 and it's payback time," said DiCarlo.
"I have absolutely no regrets, nothing whatsoever to apologize for and we will continue to talk about the issues and concern is of the mass majority of people,” said Saland.
Those issues, Saland believes are simple. But DiCarlo says locals want a conservative on economic and social issues.
"Jobs, jobs, jobs, taxes, taxes, taxes, and what do we do to make New York more competitive, that's what it's about, that's what it should be about," said Saland.
"Throughout the country they're going to understand that here in New York State we define traditional marriage with us and not with millionaires that tried to decide this race," said DiCarlo.
The candidates will meet next Thursday and Friday to open the absentee ballots. But with the slim margin, lawyers will likely drag out the process for weeks before the outcome is known.