It wasn't even close last Tuesday night as Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey, R-Peru, overcame opposition from both sides of the political spectrum and trounced her two challengers.
And with this single victory, the region's socially centrist Republican state representatives see a political mandate from area voters in support of moderate policy stances.
Duprey said in order to remain viable in one of the bluest states in the union, the GOP must maintain a broad and tolerant perspective.
"We've got to be more all-encompassing in the Republican Party if we're going to reach out to everybody. I like to think that's where I've always been," she said. "But I think it's been more clear in this past year than it has in the past."
Duprey enjoyed strong support from Republicans, independents and Democrats.
Assemblywoman Teresa R. Sayward, R-Willsboro, is part of an all-female Republican voting block that includes Duprey and their outgoing colleague Dede Scozzafava.
"I've never thought our region is all that conservative, especially when it comes to social issues," she said. "Quite frankly, I just think people are closer to the middle than anybody would like to admit."
Moderate Republicans are arguing that in New York's North Country, the Tea Party movement is only representative of a vocal, but small minority of the actual population.
Conservatives and Tea Party activists have been extremely vocal ever since North Country Republicans picked Dede Scozzafava as their nominee for New York's 23rd Congressional District seat last year. The intra-party revolt that followed doomed Scozzafava's bid, led to the first election of a Democrat in the district since the Civil War and, for a time, made her Assembly backers - primarily Duprey and Teresa Sayward - seemingly vulnerable.
Conservative David Kimmel's challenge to Duprey is a direct result of the right's anger with centrist Republicans. Days before the election, it was widely speculated Kimmel could potentially funnel enough votes away from Duprey to hand the seat to Democrat Rudy Johnson.
But Kimmel drew less than 20 percent of the vote and Duprey easily won reelection.
"I think that we have got to get a bigger tent. I think that my campaign, on a statewide basis, says we can step outside of what was once considered sacred ground for the Republican Party," she said. "I have always been pro choice. I voted for the dignity for all students act. How can you not say you can't be bullying children for any reason at any time in our school system?"
The region's Tea Party was not directly involved in Kimmel's bid because it is not registered with the state Board of Elections, though he did attend many of the group's meetings.
UNYTEA chairman Mark Barie said the organization was a force in the congressional race.
"During the course of the campaign, it was pretty clear that Mr. Owens was moving to the right. He was airing commercials that bragged about voting with Republicans 63 percent of the time, he openly admitted the health care bill was defective and he talked out loud about voting against the federal spending cap," he said. "I don't think he was moving the right to energize his base, I think he was moving to the right to shut up the Tea Party folks."
While parroting the mantra of smaller government, the roots of the conservative revolt are actually couched in social issues. Duprey, Sayward and Scozzafava have continually opposed ever-increasing state budgets, but angered the right with their support of gay marriage and moderate stances on abortion.
But in so doing, they have also picked up considerable support from centrist independents and moderate Democrats.
Sayward said Thursday she's felt vulnerable to attacks from the right for the last year. Sayward said she's shocked she too didn't face a challenger from the social right.
"I was very surprised and yes I did feel vulnerable," she said. "I didn't know how strong this wave was, but I had hoped that calmer heads would prevail and they certainly did in this election."
While Tea Party-backed candidates won several congressional elections in other states, the movement's effectiveness in upstate New York is suspect at best. Democrat Bill Owens won reelection, in part, because of the local GOP schism.
His colleague Scott Murphy was handily defeated by Republican challenger Chris Gibson in New York's 20th Congressional District. But even here, the apparent moderate nature of the region was visible as Murphy carried only one county on Election Day - the Republican-heavy county of Essex.
During the campaign, Gibson took some heat from the right for his stance on abortion.
In a recent interview, Owens also said he believes the North Country is primarily populated by those in the political center.