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Miner speaks out about close state Senate races

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is criticizing campaign rhetoric used during one of last week’s state Senate primaries.  Three of the four Republican state senators who broke with the party to vote to legalize gay marriage last year faced tough primary battles September 13, and one of those contests turned particularly nasty in the closing days.Miner, who also serves as co-chair of the New York State Democratic Party, denounced homophobic messages and images sent via e-mail  to voters in the Republican primary race between state Sen. Mark Grisanti and lawyer Kevin Stocker in the Buffalo area.

"What we saw in the primaries, that there was -- particularly in western New York -- forces that chose to go to the most objectionable, hateful kind of  stereotypes to get someone defeated. And thankfully they lost."

Grisanti won the primary in that race in Erie county.

Two other state senators, however, are now fighting for their seats.

Sen. Roy McDonald of Saratoga and Sen. Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie faced strong primary challengers September 13, and the races are still too close to call.  Absentee ballots are being counted for those races in the Capital and Hudson Valley areas. Both races were within about 100 votes.

The fourth Republican state Sen. James Alesi of Rochester is retiring this year.