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Hanging chad in N.Y. House race? Murphy, Tedisco 65 votes apart out of 150,000

March 31, 2009 | 11:04 pm

With all precincts reporting and more than 150,000 votes counted in Tuesday's special congressional election in New York's 20th District, the tallies for the Republican and Democratic candidates were separated by 65 votes.

Other than that, it was a blowout in a traditionally GOP district that nonetheless has elected a Democrat to its House seat in every election since November 2005. Meaning twice.

So now 58-year-old Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco and 38-year-old local venture capitalist Scott Murphy, who holds the slim lead, must await final counting of some 10,000 absentee ballots, which will be accepted until April 13.

Wanna bet if it stays close someone goes to court a la Minnesota without all the Scandinavians?

The victor will replace Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who replaced Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Senate, according to the appointment by New York Democratic Gov. David Paterson, who replaced Democrat Eliot Spitzer, who resigned for reasons of apolitical naughtiness.

As The Ticket has thoroughly reported, the interim race in the 20th District was seen as something of a minor referendum on the spending policies of President Barack Obama and the effectiveness of newly installed Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

None of whom could vote in the upstate district. But since when has that stopped folks from spending some $2 million of other people's money in political campaigns? Which must be run all over again next year.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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