GOP senator key in NY gay marriage OK concedes

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A Republican who cast the deciding vote to legalize gay marriage in New York has conceded he lost his re-election bid.

Veteran state Sen. Stephen Saland's (SUH'-lahndz) defeat means three of the four Republicans who cast critical votes for gay marriage in June 2011 won't be returning to the Senate.

Saland's concession Thursday ends a long count of absentee ballots in the Hudson Valley race, in which Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH'-moh) praised him for what he called a courageous vote of conscience.

Democrat Terry Gipson wins the 41st Senate District race.

Saland has represented the district in Putnam and Dutchess counties for more than 20 years. He sponsored legislation for schools and to combat child abuse.

Saland says his years in the Legislature have been a "great honor."

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