Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, won her bid for a second full term Tuesday, defeating Republican Chele Farley in a little-noticed contest.
Gillibrand appeared headed to a second consecutive double-digit win.
The outcome was no surprise, given the Democratic Party's enrollment edge in New York and Gillibrand's political assets.
Gillibrand – long one of the Senate's most adept fundraisers – spent nearly 11 times more on her campaign than Farley did as of Oct. 18.
Perhaps not surprisingly, then, two-thirds of voters who responded to a mid-October Quinnipiac University poll said they didn't know enough about Farley to have an opinion of her.
Gillibrand based her campaign on her record as an active senator who also took a lead on national issues. Farley, a partner and managing director at a private equity firm in New York, countered by arguing that Gillibrand had not tended to the state's needs.
Appointed to the seat vacated when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton moved on to serve as secretary of state a decade ago, Gillibrand – a lawyer and former House member from the Albany area – distinguished herself as an extremely aggressive advocate of women's rights, universal health care and gun safety.
Her big win now positions her for a possible presidential run in 2020.
Gillibrand has given varying answers to questions about a presidential race, sometimes vowing to serve her full six-year Senate term and sometimes appearing to hedge.
Asked about a presidential run last month, she told The Buffalo News Editorial Board: "I can think about it later."
With polls officially closed in New York, I want to say thank you to this team for everything you’ve done leading up to Election Day and for demanding change today with your vote. Never doubt that your voice and your efforts have made the biggest impact.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) November 7, 2018
Story topics: Election 2018