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Record-low turnout in N.Y. GOP primary
Sun Sep 17, 9:09 PM ET
Voter turnout for last week's Republican primary to choose a challenger to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was just 5.6 percent, the lowest level ever recorded, election officials said.
The primary pitted little-known former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer against Kathleen Troia "KT" McFarland, a Reagan-era Pentagon official and political novice. Spencer won 61 percent of the GOP vote to 39 percent for McFarland.
Unofficial returns showed fewer than 180,000 of the state's more than 3.1 million Republicans voted.
The GOP turnout was the lowest since 1975, when the state began keeping primary turnout numbers, said Lee Daghlian, a spokesman for the state Board of Elections.
Meanwhile, turnout for Clinton's Democratic primary against antiwar activist Jonathan Tasini was about 13 percent. Voters also chose between two Democratic candidates for governor: Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi.
Clinton collected 83 percent of the vote and Spitzer about 81 percent as about 715,000 of the state's almost 5.5 million Democrats voted.