Harckham Gains Ground in 40th State Senate District Race

State Senator Pete Harckham

State Senator Pete Harckham gained some ground in his bid for reelection following the tallying of absentee ballots in Putnam and Dutchess counties.

Harckham, who trailed Republican challenger Rob Astorino by more than 8,000 votes on Election night, is now facing a 5,896-vote deficit.

According to Harckham, he outpulled Astorino in absentee ballots in Putnam, 4,151 to 2,257, and in Dutchess, 1,288 to 670.

The race will be decided by the estimated 25,000 absentee ballots being counted in Westchester County, a process that began Friday. Those ballots reportedly were overwhelmingly returned by registered Democrats by a three-to-one margin.

According to the Westchester County Board of Elections, Harckham outperformed Astorino in the county on Election Day, 45,881 (52%) to 42,196 (48%).

It was a different story in Putnam, where Astorino dominated Harckham, 17,535 (66%) to 9,135 (34%). Astorino also won in Dutchess, 6,011 to 3,265.

Harckham is seeking a second two-year term, while Astorino is trying to make a political comeback following an eight-year stint as county executive (2010-2017). He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2014.

Two years ago, Harckham became the first Democrat to serve the district since 1914 after ousting Republican Terrence Murphy

The 40th State Senate District covers the villages of Sleepy Hollow, Pleasantville, Briarcliff Manor, Croton-on-Hudson and Buchanan, the town/village of Mount Kisco, the towns of Cortlandt, Lewisboro, Mount Pleasant, New Castle, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers and Yorktown, the City of Peekskill, and parts of Putnam and Dutchess counties.

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