In a county known for close races, Election Night 2008 in Rensselaer County was a night of wide margins. And smiles on the faces of Republicans, who no longer have George W. Bush to get wrapped around their necks every election.
The One cruised to victory over John McCain, with the stock market hitting the crapper just hours later. With economic troubles getting blamed on already unpopular GOP president, McCain never mounted a credible challenge in the Empire State. The Obama numbers in Rensselaer County are impressive, especially given the fact that virtually every county Democrat of note supported Hillary Clinton. Must have been tough for county Democrats watching Obama's ship come in, knowing they will probably have a tough time getting any attention from the White House after backing The One's primary opponent.
Unfortunately, nice guy and good judge Tony Carpinello's proximity to McCain hurt him on Election Day, as Pistol Pat McGrath coasted by him in Rensselaer County. The margins were closer in other counties in the Third Judicial District. With McGrath's seat open, it looks like Democrats may try to ignore qualifications and experience and keep it in the family.
After collectively spending more than $6 million in their campaign, Gillibrand whomp Treadwell in the 20th CD. Treadwell is a likeable guy who spent most of his time dodging the Bush backer tag and should think of giving it another go in 2010.
The Troy GOP scored a big win, helping defeat a new library tax supported by the Destructive Democratic Council majority. Some misinformation distributed by Democrats – information the State Board of Elections has been requested to investigate – may have helped defeat a charter revision sponsored by Mayor Tutunjian that would have reduced the size of city government. Still, it's a silver lining for Republicans when they can hand Democrats a defeat on a new tax supported by Democrats and have Democrats maneuver to defeat legislation that would save taxpayer money.
Roy McDonald had a powerhouse performance, winning by a 60-40 margin. His opponent had circulated a rumor that the race was within the margin of error, but on Election Day, McDonald proved he will be a force to be reckoned with.