Congressman Bill Owens shows strong support in St. Lawrence County, but retains seat by small margin
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 2:47 pm

There was some suspense as the vote counts began to be counted, but Democratic Congressman Bill Owens of Plattsburgh took the contest and will be returning to Congress from the North Country as a full-second-term representative.

The tally, as it unfolded, kept the two leading contenders close. Republican Matt Doheny took the lead when the first results came in, but as the night went on, Owens' jumped to a lead of 2,000 votes, then 4,000 votes, and finally 4,585.

In the end, Owens had re-taken the district with 52 percent of the vote and 48 percent for Doheny

With  all polling districts having reported to their county boards of elections, Owens' tally stands at 115,389 votes; Doheny 110,804. Green Party candidate Donald Hassig of Colton had 3,683 votes, less than the difference between the Republican and Democratic candidates.

Owens had slightly more than 50 percent of the count Tuesday, Doheny slightly more than 48 percent, and Hassig had about 1.6 percent.

The results from the 12 counties in the district:

St. Lawrence -- Owens 19,191; Doheny 13,453; Hassig 441

Jefferson -- Owens 15,115; Doheny 16,013; Hassig 371

Franklin -- Owens 8,396; Doheny 5,310; Hassig 218

Essex - - Owens 7,701; Doheny 6,181; Hassig 276

Clinton -- Owens 16,554; Doheny 9,979; Hassig 369

Lewis -- Owens 4,253; Doheny 4,732; Hassig 124

Hamilton -- Owens 897; Doheny 1,555; Hassig 35

Fulton -- Owens 6,645; Doheny 9,467; Hassig 315

Herkimer -- Owens 1,200; Doheny 2,071; Hassig 35

Saratoga -- Owens 15,039; Doheny 18,547; Hassig 664

Warren -- Owens 11,381; Doheny 13,017; Hassig 441

Washington -- Owens 9,011; Doheny 10,479; Hassig 394

The tallies are all unofficial at this point, and they do not include absentee and provisional ballots, which will be counted later.

The huge 21st Congressional District includes the area from Lewis and Jefferson counties in the west through St. Lawrence, Franklin and Clinton counties across the north of the district, on south through Essex, Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties, to Fulton, Hamilton and Herkimer counties in the center and south..

Democrat Owens, a former Air Force officer and businessman from Plattsburgh, was running for his second full term in Congress. He beat Doheny, a Watertown businessman, once before, in 2010, in a three-way race with Conservative Doug Hoffman of Lake Placid, who endorsed Doheny in this year's contest.

Owens took the the seat in a special election in 2009 when former Rep. John McHugh was tapped by the Obama administration to be the Secretary of the Army, a post he continues to hold.

For results of state Assembly and Senate races, visit the Elections Result Page.