ALBANY – Republican Sue Serino has emerged from what started off as a four-candidate Republican field to secure the GOP nomination for state Senate.
The Dutchess County legislator has secured the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties' lines to challenge Sen. Terry Gipson, D-Rhinebeck, after Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik dropped out of the race Monday.
The district stretches across Putnam and Dutchess counties.
"Given the fact that the Republican, Conservative, and Independence Parties have endorsed Sue Serino, I've been compelled to weigh not just my chance of winning a Republican primary, but how, if we were successful in that primary, I would win a general election," Tkazyik said in a statement.
"After due consideration, I've concluded that I don't want to forestall nor complicate in any way a general election campaign in which we must prevail."
Party leaders coalesced around Serino after the other Republican candidates faltered, and eventually dropped out. Only Tkazyik remained—until Monday. So Serino won't face a Republican primary Sept. 9.
"I'm extremely grateful for the growing grassroots momentum and support I have received from this great community. Now, as a united party, we are fully prepared to take back the 41st Senate District," Serino said in a statement.
It's a race that will be among the most heavily watched in the state as Republicans look to make gains in November in the Senate and Democrats look to win the majority.
The Senate is controlled by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans, but the majority of Senate Democrats belong to the minority conference and want to regain power after the November elections.
The seat had long been held by Sen. Stephen Saland, R-Poughkeepsie, but he lost in a three-way race in 2012 to Gipson.
"Terry Gipson has fought tirelessly to make the Hudson Valley more affordable for hardworking men and women, helping secure funding to repeal the Dutchess energy tax and bringing real property tax relief to middle class families," Josh Cherwin, executive director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, said in a statement.