State Senate candidates George Latimer (D) and Bob Cohen (R) are preparing for what could be a long night, as their neck-and-neck race for the 37th State Senate District is expected to go down to the wire.
Cohen, who lost his bid for the same seat to Suzi Oppenheimer (D) by a slim margin in 2010, said he is hopeful results will be finalized tonight but that absentee ballots could again determine the outcome.
"It will be close," Cohen said. "We'll see if we have a result finalized."
Both candidates were campaigning throughout Westchester County Tuesday. Cohen said he has been visiting train stations and speaking with voters since early this morning. Latimer said he has been to Tuckahoe, Yonkers, Mamaroneck and Rye with plans for other locations before the polls close.
"In our race, it's going to be razor-thin," Latimer said Tuesday afternoon. "I don't expect either a concession speech or an acceptance speech from either of us tonight, it's going to be that close."
Oppenheimer has occupied the 37th State Senate seat since 1984. She did not run for re-election this year and will retire after completing her 14th term in December.
Latimer has served in the New York State Assembly and announced his bid to run for state senate in March. Cohen is a real estate executive from Scarsdale who also announced his candidacy this spring.
The race between the two has been testy at times. Both candidates lodged complaints with the county's Fair Campaign Practices Committee in early October. At the time Latimer accused Cohen of "blatantly misleading viewers" during a televised campaign advertisement. The committee made no finding.
Cohen's complaint that Latimer's campaign manager had contacted The Journal News about the unfair campaign practice allegation was upheld. FCPC rules state that only the committee can send out releases involving unfair practices to the press.
The two men were back in front of the committee two weeks later, when a mailing distributed by the Latimer campaign calling Cohen a "slumlord" garnered five complaints from the Cohen campaign.
The Fair Campaign Practices Committee ruled that one phrase in the mailing was unfair.
With the campaign nearing its end, both men said they are ready for the public to make the final choice.
"It's in the hands of the voters now," Latimer said. "It's their choice, it's the people's say."
"Today is a day for people to basically tell us the direction of the state and the nation," Cohen said. "We're very happy, we're confident."
The 37th Senate District is comprised of parts of New Rochelle and White Plains, Bedford-Katonah, Harrison, Rye, Port Chester, Larchmont-Mamaroneck and Bronxville-Eastchester.