Voters making a showing for the Republican primary for the district attorney's race voiced an overwhelming preference for William Gabor (R,I -- Cazenovia), who took 1,604 votes to Canastota challenger Peter Finocchiaro's 673.
With 192 of 362 absentee ballots already counted, Ann Jones of the Madison County Board of Elections said it looks like the unofficial results are "going to stick."
Madison County Republican Committee Chairman Michael St. Leger said he attributes the victory to the fact that Gabor worked very hard at getting his platform and qualifications made public.
"And he had a lot of people working very hard on his behalf," St. Leger said. "I also think his experience in the field of criminal law was an overwhelming factor."
Finocchiaro, who would still appear on the November ballot on the Conservative Party line, said he has decided to withdraw from the race, leaving Democratic candidate Jeffrey Aumell to face-off against Gabor in November.
"I think it's only fair to give those two a nice, clean shot at the position," Finocchiaro said. "It's a presidential election, and I think that will create a very large coattail effect. I would only be a spoiler for one or the other."
Gabor, who also nailed the Madison County Independence Party endorsement earlier this summer, credited his background and supporters for his primary win.
"I think this was a continuation of the Republican Committee meeting that Mr. Finocchiaro and I both attended," Gabor said. "We're both competent lawyers, but my experience I have been doing prosecution and criminal defense my whole professional life. He has little prosecutorial or criminal defense experience, and I think voters realized that. I hope they continue to acknowledge that through November."
Terry Karst, chairman of the Madison County Independence Party, said he is thrilled for Gabor but voiced concerns about the participatory factor in the process.