- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York voters elected five new state lawmakers Tuesday in special elections - three of whom will replace politicians convicted of corruption.

In a Southern Tier Senate race, Broome County Undersheriff Fred Akshar, a Republican, claimed 79 percent of the vote to beat Democrat Barbara Fiala, a former county executive and motor vehicles commissioner.

Akshar replaces Republican Thomas Libous, who was convicted of lying to the FBI.

“I pledge to fight for their concerns and for their fair treatment in Albany and to always be an open, accessible and passionate representative for them,” Akshar said of his new constituents who live in a region that has long struggled economically.

In a state Senate matchup in Brooklyn, Democratic Assemblywoman Roxanne Persaud won 90 percent of the vote - with 95 percent of precincts reporting late Tuesday - to defeat Republican Jeffrey Ferretti.

Persaud will take the seat formerly held by Democrat John Sampson, also convicted of lying to the FBI.

Three Assembly races were settled in the special election.

Queens Democrat Alicia Hyndman beat Republican Scherie Murray 93 percent to 7 percent to succeed Democrat William Scarborough, convicted of pocketing campaign money and filing false expense claims.

“Next stop Albany!” Hyndman said in a celebratory Twitter message.

In a Syracuse-area district, Democrat Pamela Hunter beat Republican John Sharon 54 percent to 36 percent. Conservative Party candidate David Stott got 10 percent.

Hunter, a member of the Syracuse Common Council, replaces former Democratic Assemblyman Sam Roberts, who joined the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“I said if you walk with me, we’ll go down this path and we will win,” Hunter told supporters Tuesday, according to the Post-Standard of Syracuse.

Meanwhile, Democrat Pamela Harris won 63 percent of the vote in a Brooklyn Assembly district to defeat Republican Lucretia Regina-Potter.

The district’s previous representative, Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, a Democrat, stepped down for an undisclosed job in the private sector.

Tuesday’s special elections won’t change the balance of power in the Legislature, where the Senate is controlled by Republicans and Democrats hold an overwhelming majority in the Assembly.

New York lawmakers are scheduled to return to the state Capitol in Albany in January to begin the 2016 session.

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