State Senator Darrel Aubertine Thursday admitted that he will not be reelected and offered a concession to the woman who beat him.
Aubertine trailed St. Lawrence County Clerk Patty Ritchie at the end of election night, and needed a strong performance among absentee voters to keep his job.
Yesterday, with most of the counting complete, it became apparent he could not win. Aubertine issued a statement:
“I am extremely grateful for the support I’ve received over the years and the opportunities I’ve been given to serve the people of the North Country for eight years and Central New York for the past two and a half years. I am proud of what we’ve accomplished working together across political divisions and I wish Senator-elect Patty Ritchie well in serving the people of Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.”
Aubertine, a farmer from Cape Vincent in Jefferson County, has been a target of the Republican party for several years. The conservative Democrat won the seat in a special election to replace longtime Senator Jim Wright in 2008. The fight against Assemblyman Will Barclay, and the followup election win over Republican David Renzi, set spending records for local elections because Aubertine’s wins drew Democrats closer to taking majority control of the State Senate.
His loss and the possible losses of several other Democratic Senators could give control of the chamber back to the Republicans.
Ritchie campaigned primarily on her fight against a state plan to force everyone to change license plates. A state license plate was her campaign’s logo.