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Thompson concedes defeat in key State Senate race

ALBANY - State Sen. Antoine Thompson conceded defeat yesterday in a race that will help determine which political party controls New York's Senate.

The Democrat's decision means Republican Mark J. Grisanti will represent the 60th State Senate District in Buffalo beginning in January.

Two other recounts continue, including one on Long Island.

Democrats won a 32-30 majority two years ago after decades of Republican rule.

In a brief statement, Thompson thanked his supporters for helping accomplish what he called "monumental successes" in economic development, education and environmental goals.

Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos congratulated Thompson for "doing the right thing" and welcomed Grisanti into the GOP conference.

"It's more important than ever that we get back to governing," Skelos said, a stab at Democrats' intent to make sure every vote is counted in the disputed races.

"Senator-elect Grisanti will be a strong voice for the 60th Senate District in Albany, and we are eager to get right to work with him on Western New York's priorities."

The concession was first reported by the Buffalo News.

Recounts continue for the seats held by Democratic Sen. Craig Johnson of Long Island, who is fighting off Republican challenger Jack Martins, and Westchester Democrat Suzi Oppenheimer in a race against Republican Bob Cohen.

Republicans predict they will have a 32-30 majority.

Democrats say even a 31-31 tie would result in a Democrat-controlled Senate because the lieutenant governor would cast votes to break ties.

That point of constitutional law would give Democratic Lt. Gov.-elect Robert Duffy considerable power.

But it is disputed and would be challenged in court.

State & Region