SARATOGA SPRINGS - Upstate New Yorkers can now breathe a sigh of relief.
The flood of competing political attack ads on television are now history.
The contentious, expensive campaign for the New York 20th Congressional District seat is over.
But the suspense isn't.
Glens Falls-based Venture Capitalist Scott Murphy and state Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco are now deadlocked in an election that was considered too close to call Tuesday.
The results will now hinge on a painstaking count of impounded paper and absentee ballots under the oversight of a judge - a process that is expected to take about three weeks before results are certified.
In this hard-fought election, Tedisco closed a four-percentage-point deficit in the most recent poll, advancing to a mere 59 votes shy of Murphy's tally. The unofficial count stands at 77,344 for Murphy, 77,285 for Tedisco.
In Murphy's election- night headquarters at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs, vote returns at about 10:15 p.m. showed Murphy with a 2,100 vote lead - and well over 1,200 of his supporters were celebrating.
They had come expecting an upset victory over Tedisco, an established veteran politician, after the Siena Research Institute poll released four days earlier showed Murphy with the lead of 47 percent to 43 percent lead.
But at about 10:45 p.m., the vote count was within just several dozen votes, and the cheers subsided.
Across town in the Holiday Inn, Tedisco jumped onto the stage - about a half-hour earlier than his opponent - and predicted that the outstanding absentee and military votes, which traditionally favor Republicans - would give him a winning margin.
"Nobody gave us a chance after the Democrats brought in every heavy hitter they had like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Schumer, and President Obama," he said pumping his fist in the air to a cheering crowd. "I stood up to them on my own two feet, like I'll do in Washington for my constituents."