Over the past few years, Assem. Bob Reilly (D-Latham) has been the most vocal opponent of legalizing mixed martial arts in the state of New York.
He has led the charge in the Assembly to keep MMA out of the immediate hands of New Yorkers and their tax dollars in other states' coffers. It was estimated by a UFC official that at least half the people in attendance at UFC 111 in New Jersey last March were from the state of New York.
But, there's still hope for MMA fans. Reilly is still in a tight race for his Assembly seat in the 109th District. The vote, as of Wednesday, stands as follows:
25,151 - Bob Reilly
24,574 - Jennifer Whalen
There are 2,120 absentee ballots that will be counted on Nov. 10 by both the Saratoga County and Albany County boards of elections, according to the Albany Times-Union.
The bill to legalize MMA in New York passed the State Senate last June but stalled in the Assembly. Reilly's pursuit of his anti-MMA passion helped.
Should Whalen make up the 577-vote differential -- she needs to earn 1,543 votes to tie -- this doesn't automatically mean that MMA will get the support to win legalization so quickly. There's still the matter of convincing Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.