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Stirpe regains assembly seat

Al Stirpe accepts his win before a packed room at Pensabene's Casa Grande on State Fair Boulevard, which hosted the Onondaga County Democrats Tuesday night.

Al Stirpe accepts his win before a packed room at Pensabene's Casa Grande on State Fair Boulevard, which hosted the Onondaga County Democrats Tuesday night. Photo by Ned Campbell.

— Democrat Al Stirpe retook the 127th District Assembly seat from Republican Don Miller, defeating him by a vote of 32,013 to 26,035. Stirpe had previously held the position from 2006 to 2010. The district encompasses the towns of Clay and Cicero and part of the town of Manlius.

In his victory speech, Stirpe acknowledged not only his wife, Chele, and campaign supporters, but a friend who passed away in 2011 and pushed him to keep fighting for the seat.

“I want to dedicate this to somebody who’s not here anymore,” Stirpe said. “In 2010 after I lost, I was on my way to the Veteran’s Parade on that Saturday and I got a phone call on my cell phone by someone not doing too well but he said, ‘Stirpe, I feel really bad, but you can’t stop, you gotta keep going. You gotta do it again. And I said, ‘OK Tony, I’ll do it. But you gotta be there.’ He said, ‘I don’t think I’m gonna be there but you still gotta do it.’ So this one’s for Tony Nesci.”

Nesci was an active union member with the UAW at New Process Gear. Stirpe’s campaign has benefited, both this time and in the past, from organized labor, a fact he acknowledged in his speech.

Stirpe also recognized his campaign volunteers.

“We had the best ground game ever, without a doubt,” he said. “And the other thing this proves is you can’t just make stuff up and expect people to believe it. We just talked about what we wanted to do, what we’ve done in the past and forget about everything else, and I think people appreciated that and the other side might learn a lesson from this and stop all the down and dirty stuff they try each and every campaign.”

The race for the 127th District was, indeed, dirty, with both sides flinging accusations at the other. It was expected to be a tight one.

Miller declined to speak with the press Tuesday night.

Ned Campbell contributed to the reporting for this article.

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