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Heavy voter turnout in county surprises, pleases party officials

Warren County voters turned out Tuesday in what could be record numbers for a Primary Election, political party officials said Wednesday. The turnout was phenomenal for a Primary, Warren County Democratic Party Chairman William Montfort said, noting that about 41 percent of the 9,326 Democrats registered in the county voted Tuesday, compared to a range of 15 to 25 percent typical for a Primary with no local candidates on the ballot. This percentage includes absentee ballots returned to date. Statewide, Tuesdays turnout is estimated at about 33 percent of registered Democrats. Turnout for Republicans was lighter, but still high for a primary without a local candidate. Nearly 30 percent of 20,810 Warren County Republicans showed up to vote, including returned absentees. Statewide, that turnout among Republicans was about 20 percent. Im absolutely happy people in Warren County are showing so much interest in politics, county Republican Party Chairman Mike Grasso said.. It was a surprising turnout. The vote tally for individual candidates, however was predictable, the party chairmen said. Unofficial county results showed John McCain leading the Republicans with 2,976 votes, followed by Mitt Romney at 1,380, Mike Huckabee at 618, Ron Paul with 368, and Rudy Giuliani at 114. For the Democrats, Hillary tallied 2,149, followed by Barack Obama at 1,130, John Edwards with 50, Bill Richardson at 23, Dennis Kucinich at 19, and Joe Biden with 12. Hillary Clintons hefty margin over rivals Barack Obama was not a surprise to Montfort. He said that in addition to her popularity in the region, his county committee members were on the phone in the weeks prior to the election, urging people to vote for her. Clinton has visited the Glens Falls area a handful of times in recent years, despite the area having a 2-1 Republican advantage in voter registrations. Montfort said Clintons personable interaction with people from all walks of life during her visits boosted her popularity among both Democrats and Republicans. In her 2006 re-election to her Senate post, she beat her Republican opponent by a 24 percentage-point margin, he recalled. In one Queensbury district on Tuesday, the district encompassing Cleverdale, Obama beat Clinton by a few votes. In Stony Creek, the two rivals were dead even. On the Republican side, local returns followed expectations, Grasso said. We expected McCain to do well because Rudy swung his support over to him, he said.

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