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Simpson wins 114th Assembly District seat

Matt Simpson speaks Oct. 17 at a Republican rally in Saranac Lake while running for the state Assembly seat currently held by Dan Stec. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

Going door to door, despite the pandemic, seems to have been the path to a seat in the state Assembly for Horicon Supervisor Matt Simpson.

Simpson, a Republican, had 32,544 votes Tuesday night, with more than 13,000 absentee ballots left to be counted. Democrat Claudia Braymer had 19,325 votes and Evelyn Wood had 498 votes. Simpson’s lead is insurmountable; Braymer could only hope to win if she won every single absentee vote.

Voters said Simpson was the only one who knocked on their door, and they were impressed.

“He seems honest,” said voter Ken Harris of Queensbury, who chose Simpson.

“I can’t ask questions if you don’t show up at my door,” said voter Cathy Allen, who also voted for Simpson. “He’s actually the only one who came to our house.”

Others said that Simpson seemed willing to hear what they had to say.

“He came by. I had a conversation with him,” said voter Randy McCane. “Our viewpoints are somewhat similar, but it was the fact that he actually put some energy into it — he didn’t just pay for an ad.”

Voter Jack Wells said that he knew Simpson from the Warren County Board of Supervisors and found that Simpson would talk with him as if he was an equal.

“You could talk to him. It wasn’t like you were just a county worker,” Wells said.

The 114th Assembly District seat is currently held by Republican Dan Stec. But he is vying for a Senate seat, leaving his seat open to newcomers.

Simpson and Braymer are on the Warren County Board of Supervisors.

Simpson is also president of Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages, which lobbied the state to help fight invasive species in the Adirondacks. Simpson also helped start the Adirondack Lakes Alliance in 2014, which also works to remove invasive species and prevent new ones from entering the waterways.

In those efforts, he described learning how to find compromises that “everyone could live with.”

Braymer, who cited her ability to work with Republicans to get things done, is the Warren County supervisor from Glens Falls Ward 3.

Wood is the former Thurman supervisor. She tried for the Republican endorsement and turned to the Serve America Movement party when she did not get the endorsement.

The 114th district includes all of Warren and Essex counties and portions of Saratoga and Washington counties, which means final results will not be in soon. There are more than 13,000 absentee ballots left to be counted. Each county board of elections will begin counting at a different time; Warren County will start Friday and Washington County will start on Nov. 12.

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