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Sen. Gillibrand Wins in New York

Sen. Gillibrand Wins in New York

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Celebrating her first statewide election victory, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, an outspoken proponent of "don't ask, don't tell" repeal, told cheering Democrats gathered in Midtown Manhattan, "We must protect civil rights for all Americans."

Gillibrand took the podium at the ballroom of the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers shortly after 9:30 p.m., following her win over Joseph DioGuardi, a former Republican congressman.

"We must protect civil rights for all Americans," she said to loud cheers. "That means full marriage equality, and men and woman can serve in our military and not be dismissed for whom they love."

While expected, the Gillibrand victory represents the first statewide win for the senator, whom Gov. David Paterson appointed last year to the seat formerly occupied by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Chuck Schumer, the senior senator from New York, also celebrated his victory Tuesday night. Schumer is mentioned as a likely replacement for imperiled Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should the Democrat lose his reelection bid to Tea Party upstart Sharron Angle in Nevada.

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