Next up for state Sen. Jim Seward: The general election.
Seward, R-Milford, defeated Otsego County businessman Jim Blake in the 51st Senate District Republican primary Thursday.
Seward received 7,667 votes, while Blake received 1,884. Seward won Cayuga County with 219 votes. Blake picked up 41 votes in the county.
Seward credited his supporters for the win and thanked GOP voters for choosing him as their nominee.
"It's very gratifying," Seward said by phone Thursday night. "We took (the primary) very seriously. We worked very hard. I'm so thankful for the voters that came out and supported my candidacy. I think it bodes very well for the general election."
Blake hoped for a victory in the primary, but acknowledged that challenging Seward was an uphill battle.
"We just don't have the big political machine he has, the money that he has and the years of networking," he said.
This was Seward's first primary campaign since 1986. That year, he defeated two other Republicans before going on to win the general election. Since that victory, he has served 13 terms in the New York State Senate.
After the primary victory, Seward is looking ahead to the general election.
"It gives us good momentum," he said of the primary win. "We've been traveling the district this summer in anticipation of the primary. We've been doing a lot of voter outreach. We're going to continue to work. We won't rest until Nov. 7 — the day after the general election."
Seward will face Ithaca attorney Howard Leib in November's general election. Seward will have the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines. Leib will run on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines.
The 51st Senate District comprises all or parts of nine counties, including the towns of Locke, Moravia, Niles, Owasco, Sempronius and Summerhill in Cayuga County.