This story has been updated.
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Democrat George S. Latimer won a second term in the state Senate on Tuesday Nov. 4, defeating Republican challenger Joseph L. Dillon, according to unofficial election results.
Thursday afternoon, Dillon officially conceded in the close race and offered his congratulations to Latimer.
Latimer of Rye was leading Dillon of Yonkers by an unofficial margin of 52 percent to 48 percent in the race for the 37th Senate District seat. Absentee ballots must still be counted.
With all of the election districts reporting tallies, Latimer led Dillon by unofficial vote totals of 36,619 to 33,488 on Thursday Nov. 6.
Dillon said he called to congratulate Latimer for a spirited campaign, and lauded Latimer's joining him in about a dozen debates and forums, which Dillon said was "a testament to the regard we both share for the people of this district and it was healthy for the election process."
Dillon issued the following press statement on Thursday:
"I have spoken to George Latimer and wished him all the best going forward. My family joins me in expressing my deep gratitude for the support of all those who embraced our campaign. Our everlasting friendship and appreciation goes well beyond this election."
"In three short months we rose from obscurity to come within four points of unseating a deeply entrenched incumbent, and we did it focusing strictly on the issues of most concern to our community. We held our campaign to the highest standard because that's what voters deserve, and I am very proud about that," Dillon said.
During the campaign, the candidates differed on ways to reduce taxes, rein in a "culture of corruption" in Albany and improve the state's educational system.
Dillon favors term limits; Latimer no longer opposes them. Latimer instead said he supports reforming the redistricting process and adopting "early voting" to give more voters a chance to participate in the process.
Dillon is a strong opponent of Common Core curriculum and blamed Latimer for his support of early "race to the top" legislation that he said led New York to be the first state to adopt Common Core. But Latimer called Dillon's remarks a distortion, saying he is a leading critic of Common Core.
Both candidates also offered different solutions to reducing the tax burden on New Yorkers.
Latimer favors mandate relief, noting that 40 percent of Westchester's total tax levy is due to Medicaid mandates. "I am a co-sponsor of a bill to phase that out," he said, noting that personal income tax rates have been reduced to their lowest level in 58 years.
Latimer said he has a long proven record of being responsive to constituents' needs as a former county legislator, Rye city councilman and state assemblyman.
"I hope that George will consider the support echoed by the people for term limits, tax relief, ethics reform and an overhaul of school funding,'' Dillon said Thursday. "While Mr. Latimer has won, the people have made it clear that they want change, and their voices deserve to be heard; no matter their station, and regardless of party."
The 37th Senate District includes Bedford, North Castle, Harrison, part of White Plains, Rye, Mamaroneck, Eastchester, part of New Rochelle and part of Yonkers.
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