UPDATED 1:26 a.m.
New York State Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle cruised to victory Tuesday and his 19th term.
LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, defeated challenger Bridget Fleming, D-Noyac, a Southampton Town councilwoman.
With 212 out of 212 election districts reporting, LaValle holds 60.3 percent of the vote. Fleming has just 45,568 votes to LaValle’s 69,238.
Addressing the crowd at The Emporium in Patchogue for the Suffolk County Republican Committee Election Night party, LaValle said that the voters chose a Suffolk agenda over a New York City agenda.
Fleming conceded in a statement emailed to the press at 11:28 p.m.
“Earlier tonight, I called Senator Ken LaValle and offered my congratulations on his victory,” Fleming said. “This has been a tough, hard-fought campaign, I’m glad to have had the opportunity to debate the issues, and I thanked Senator LaValle for his long service and his dedication to the district."
Fleming went onto thank her campaign volunteers, who continued working despite having no electricity and little gasoline left in their tanks during a shortage.
"In the coming months, I will be talking with my family about plans for the future and I am committed to seeing our efforts through,” she said.
LaValle has been a state senator since 1976 and is chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. A Brooklyn native, he earned an undergraduate degree from Adelphi College, an education degree from SUNY New Paltz, and juris doctorate from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. He is an attorney, and of counsel to Riverhead law firm Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo.
He ran unopposed in 2008 and won a contested race in 2010 with 66 percent of the vote.
LaValle went into the election with the endorsements of the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.
Fleming first entered politics during a Southampton Town Board race in 2009. Although she lost that bid, four months later she joined the board after winning a special election. She was then re-elected in 2011. She also served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
She is a matrimonial attorney and a graduate of Hunter College and the University of Virginia School of Law. Fleming had a career as an assistant district attorney, working in the sex crimes prosecution unit and later as chief of the welfare fraud unit under New York District Attorney Robert Morganthau. She served as an ADA in New York from 1991 to 2000.
Fleming had the endorsements of the Democratic and Working Families parties.