Sen. Neil Breslin was at cruising altitude for most of this evening against his primary opponent, Albany County Legislator Shawn Morse.

He started off leading the early returns by more than 100 votes and never really looked back after that.

It didn’t seem in the beginning that it would be this way.

Breslin, the Deputy Senate minority leader and a longtime incumbent lawmaker, was taking on Morse, an opponent being funded by the Independent Democratic Conference, the four-member voting bloc that broke from the rest of the Democratic fold in 2011.

Morse was the beneficiary of IDC contributions, including funds from Sens. Jeff Klein and Diane Savino along with donors tied to Klein, a Bronx Democrat who is known for being a prolific fundraiser.

Morse also had the luck of the redistricting process shaping the district to include more blue-collar areas like Troy, a city that was new territory for Breslin, who had spent his career solely within the confines of Albany County.

Morse hit Breslin hard with attacks on his work at a Republican-dominated law firm and inability to pass a minimum wage increase.

Breslin, meanwhile, staged rallies highlighting his support from the area’s minority community and organized labor.

There were also revelations during the campaign that Morse had been arrested years ago after bar fights and drunk driving, arrests he himself had owned up to.

In the end, Breslin received the coveted backing of the popular Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo (who made selective endorsements of incumbents in the state Senate).

While the Albany County political landscape seems to be undergoing a tectonic shift (all three area assemblyman retired this year, Breslin’s brother Mike stepped down as county executive), the last of his political generation proved he still could win.