Spin Cycle

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Republican who cast deciding gay-marriage vote concedes defeat

The Hudson Valley Republican who cast the deciding vote to legalize same-sex marriage in New York has conceded he’s lost his re-election bid – meaning just one of four Republicans who supported the law will return to the State Capitol in January.

Sen. Stephen Saland (R-Poughkeepsie) threw in the towel Thursday after fighting a recount for weeks. He lost a three-way race Democrat Terry Gipson by approximately 2,000 votes – largely because a Conservative Party rival siphoned more than 14,000 votes.

Saland had edged Neil DiCarlo in a Republican primary in September. But DiCarlo stayed in the general election on the third-party line.

On a dramatic night with national media and activists filling the State Capitol in June 2011, Saland cast the 32nd – and deciding vote – when the state Senate approved same-sex marriage by a 33-29.

Of the four Republicans who voted for the measure, one retired rather than face a GOP primary, one lost in a GOP primary and one lost in the general election.

Ironically, the one survivor, Sen. Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo), had been considered the most politically vulnerable by many analysts (primarily because he's a Republican running in heavily Democratic city). Grisanti cast the 33rd vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

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