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With one win, state reps see mandate for the middle

"I was very surprised and yes I did feel vulnerable," she said. "I didn't know how strong this wave was, but I had hoped that calmer heads would prevail and they certainly did in this election."

While Tea Party-backed candidates won several congressional elections in other states, the movement's effectiveness in upstate New York is suspect at best. Democrat Bill Owens won reelection, in part, because of the local GOP schism.

His colleague Scott Murphy was handily defeated by Republican challenger Chris Gibson in New York's 20th Congressional District. But even here, the apparent moderate nature of the region was visible as Murphy carried only one county on Election Day - the Republican-heavy county of Essex.

During the campaign, Gibson took some heat from the right for his stance on abortion.

In a recent interview, Owens also said he believes the North Country is primarily populated by those in the political center.

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