UPDATE: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed state's marriage equality bill. Same-sex couples will now be able to marry within 30 days.
Albany, New York (CNN) - New York legislators cleared the last major hurdle to legalize same-sex marriage on Friday with a 33-to-29 vote, sending the bill to the governor's desk for his expected approval.
A vote on the measure, which the state Assembly passed June 15, has been stalled in the Senate. But it turned a corner Friday, according to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, after lawmakers agreed on an amendment to protect religious groups from litigation that had been pushed by Republicans.FULL STORY
Greenwood Village, Colorado (CNN) - Nearly six hours after polls closed in Colorado, the campaigns in the Senate race called it a night with no winner and no concessions.
Republican Ken Buck and Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet are locked in a race that is too close to call. With 81 percent of the vote counted, Buck holds a slight lead over Bennet, 49 percent to 47 percent.
Greenwood Village, Colorado (CNN) - In one of the tightest Senate races in the country, incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet is working down to the wire to get voters to the polls. He spent part of the day in Boulder, where he encouraged college students to vote. He's ending his day in Denver.
Going into Election Day, he said he expected the race could come down to a few hundred votes. Democrats are counting on their grassroots efforts to make the difference for them.
(CNN) - New York's gubernatorial debate lived up to its expectation that it would be political theater as Republican candidate Carl Paladino faced Democrat Andrew Cuomo for the first time in a debate in a race making headlines for its nasty tone.
But the two candidates delivered an unexpected headline: there were no fireworks between them.
New York (CNN) - He's served in Congress for almost 40 years, but Tuesday's primary in New York was unlike any other for Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel.
The 80-year-old Rangel, facing five challengers and 13 ethics allegations in the House, came out on top in the Democratic primary for New York's 15th district, CNN has projected.
On the eve of the primary, robocalls using former President Bill Clinton's voice went out telling voters: "We need Charlie to go back to Washington, to work with President Obama to say, 'Yes.' "
Despite the ethics allegations, support still poured in for Rangel because "he's been a great congressman for Harlem," said Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Paul Begala.
New York (CNN) - He's served in Congress for almost 40 years, but Tuesday's primary in New York will be unlike any other for Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel.
The 80-year-old Rangel is fighting five challengers and an ethics trial in the House later this month on 13 alleged violations.
In years past, his re-election has been a slam dunk. While he is expected to win again, Rangel's taking nothing for granted.
Nashville, Tennessee (CNN) - Tea Party Convention organizers tell CNN that they are proposing a set of "first principles" for candidates seeking support from the one year-old small-government movement.
Organizers of what is being billed as the first national Tea Party Convention are expected to announce the principles at a news conference Friday afternoon at the event, which is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville.
Mark Skoda, a businessman and founder of the Memphis Tea Party, who is also serving as spokesman for the convention, refused to term this as a litmus test but said that candidates would have to adhere to the principles to be eligible for tea party fundraising and support.
The principles include fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, states' rights and national security.
Organizers say the convention has attracted a sell-out crowd of around 600 attendees from across the country.
NEW YORK (CNN) - Gov. David Paterson had no intention of appointing Caroline Kennedy to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, a source close to the New York governor told CNN Thursday.
The source told CNN that Paterson did not think Kennedy was "ready for prime time," citing her efforts, at times awkward, at trying to win the appointment. She told the press at midnight as Wednesday turned into Thursday that she was withdrawing her name from consideration.
Paterson is charged with naming a replacement for Clinton, who resigned her seat to become the secretary of state in President Obama's administration.
"She clearly has no policy experience and couldn't handle the pressure," said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. "Why would he pick her given how badly she handled herself in recent weeks?"
A Kennedy ally, though, denied that she had any indication he was leaning against choosing her to fill out Clinton's term.
And another Kennedy confidante said that Kennedy allies are getting frustrated about what they perceive as the governor's insiders slighting her.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - The Senate campaign in Minnesota between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken was considered to be quite nasty, with attack ads and angry statements by both sides. Now, it seems the recount between the two candidates could be just as ugly.
Two weeks and one day after Election Day, a mandatory recount is underway in the state in the battle for Coleman's seat. Workers at 107 sites across Minnesota Tuesday began counting the more than 2.9 million votes cast in the contest.
Unofficial results put Coleman, a freshman Republican senator, just 215 votes ahead of his Democratic challenger, Al Franken, known across the country from his days on Saturday Night Live and from his years as a talk show host on Air America, the progressive radio network. The slim margin for Coleman, far less than one half of one percent, triggered an automatic recount, the first time there's ever been a recount of a US senate race in Minnesota.
Now election officials are beginning the long process of recounting all of the ballots. They're surrounded by election observers and lawyers from both campaigns, and the media.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNN) - Sometimes you stumble on stories. Thursday was one of those times.
We were outside Veterans’ Memorial in Columbus reporting on early voting. I approached a man with an “ I just voted” sticker on his lapel to ask him whether he’d encountered any lines. The “lines weren’t bad” he said, with a broad smile. Lines were the last thing on Aaron Wheeler’s mind as he explained why he drove 600 miles back to his old hometown from Virginia, where he moved this month, to vote in what he called “one of the proudest days” of his life.
“My family has been Republican for three generations,” he said, but “I knew I had to change and vote Democrat in the first time almost ever.”
Wheeler said he was one of about 16 black Republican delegates at the 2004 GOP convention, and was proud to support George W. Bush.
This time, he said, he did not attend the Republican convention –and decided he would go one step further and vote for Democrat Barack Obama.
What’s influencing his vote? The economy was one factor, he said. But said he he made his decision “when I saw Barack Obama beaten down for no reason by negative things by Palin.”
Wheeler reminisced about marching with Martin Luther King as a boy, and referred to the slain civil rights leader when he told me he voted for Barack Obama… “not just because of his color….but in the words of Dr. King, the content of his character.”
“Tears come out of my eyes as I cast my ballot,” he said. “I voted for Barack Obama today.”