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LaValle Wins, Keeps New York State Senate Seat

Kenneth LaValle returns to New York State Senate's First District for 18th term.

Republican state Senator Kenneth LaValle held on to his seat once again despite challenges this election season from two local women.

Lavalle won with 66 percent of the vote, or 58,880 votes, Wednesday morning over his opponent, Democrat Jennifer Maertz.

Earlier in the campaign season, a judge ruled that the original Democratic candidate, Regina Calcaterra, did not meet residency requirements to run. Then Maertz – a colleague of Calcaterra – took over when she received the nod from Suffolk County Democrats.

Much of Maertz's campaign was based on anti-incumbent sentiment, telling Patch in a recent interview that she believed LaValle was "highly beatable." She pointed to the fact that in 2008, many chose not to vote at all rather than vote for the incumbent senator.

Back then a wave of discontent with Republicans in the White House swept into Congress a Democrat majority. This year the opposite seems to have been true.

The incumbent, LaValle has been a state senator since 1976 and seemed to benefit from the current mindset of voters against the Obama White House and their frustration with the economy. LaValle said he wanted to see caps on government spending and real property taxes during his campaign as well as the putting the STAR rebate program back into place.

"A reinstatement of the STAR rebate checks would be an early action," LaValle said.

A contentious issue with Long Islanders has been the MTA payroll tax and he supports repealing it when he gets back to Albany.

"It's got to be repealed," said LaValle on Tuesday. "I would say that's an early action when we are back in the majority."

Name Party Percent Votes Ken LaValle R 66.01% 58,880 Jennifer Maertz D 33.99% 30,013

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