Yates Election Day marked by incumbent Republican victories

John Christensen, Staff Writer

Towns of Benton and Torrey do see Democratic wins, but several downstate Dems fall.

YATES COUNTY —  County and town elections fell out as generally expected, with few contested races among the predominantly Republican incumbents. The following is based on the unofficial results posted by the Board of Elections. Official results will be posted after receipt and counting of all absentee ballots

County Races

In District 1, Republican incumbents, Douglas Paddock (34), Timothy Cutler (856), Edward Bronson (871), and Patrick Killen (692) defeated Democratic challenger K. Dixon Zorvich (502).

In District 3, Republican incumbents Daniel Banach (560), Charlie Chilson (564) and Leslie Church (592) plus the returning legislator Mark Morris (509) defeated Democratic challengers Valerie Brechko (310), Penn Yan Village Trustee Teresa Hoban (346), newcomer Kelley Reynolds (270), and Mildred Phillips-Espana (242).

In District 2, incumbents Terry Button (580), Richard Harper (579), and Richard Willson (576) were unopposed.

In District 4, incumbents William Holgate (450) and Bonnie Percy (442) and first-time candidate Jesse Jayne (473) were unopposed. 

The other countywide races were also without opposition. Todd Casella (2,931) was elected to his second term as District Attorney. Marsha Devine (2,860) was elected to the newly redefined position of part-time County Treasurer. Longtime Coroner Theron Smith (2,794) was elected to another term.

Town Races

Barrington - At the town level, there were no contests in the town of Barrington with Republicans Steven Perry (188) elected Supervisor; Joy Perry (192) as Town Clerk/Tax Collector; Nathaniel Olney (177) and Bryan Yarrington II (71) for Town Council; and Steven Wheeler (185), Highway Superintendent.

Benton - In Benton, Republican incumbent John Prendergast (265) was elected Supervisor. For Town Council, Democratic challenger Bill Roege (86) failed to defeat either of the incumbents, Democrat Brian Murhpy (196) or Republican Glenn Quackenbush (246).

Italy - In Italy, Town Supervisor Richard Craig (156) and Town Clerk Deborah Craig (162) were unopposed. Town Council incumbent David Ferry (135) and newcomer Benjamin Dempsey (122) defeated Michael Salotto (38). There were no candidates on the ballot for the currently vacant position of Town Justice, but 17 write-in ballots were cast.

Jerusalem - As a departure from the past, in the Town of Jerusalem, there was no opposition to Jamie Sission (598) running for Supervisor, and Richie Lent (533) and Sarah Purdy (532) elected to Town Council.

Middlesex - In Middlesex, newcomer David Adam (284) was elected Supervisor. For Town Council, Austin Liddiard (247) and Paul Mitchell (235) were also newcomers, defeating incumbent Peter Gerbic (111). Todd Conway (282) was unopposed for Highway Superintendent.

Milo - In Milo, Town Clerk Patricia Christensen (733)  ran unopposed for a renewed term. For Town Council, returning Democratic challenger Mildred Phillips-Espana (286) failed to beat either of the Republican incumbents, Gene Spanneut (570) or James Harris (596). Longtime Highway Superintendent Lance Yonge (723) ran unopposed.

Potter - All candidates in Potter were unopposed incumbents: Supervisor Larry Lewis (197); Town Council Paul Moberg (170) and Brian Bootes (193); Town Clerk Deborah Adams (195); and Highway Superintendent Arthur Lloyd Parsons (194).

Starkey - In Starkey, the major contest was for Town Justice between two newcomers; Republican Carrie Wood (329) defeated Democrat Paula Sullivan (108). John Socha (295) and Julie Dunkelberger (201) were unopposed for the two Town Council seats. Ralph Warren (365) ran unopposed for Highway Superintendent.

Torrey - In Torrey, the contest for Town Supervisor saw Democrat Council Member Peter Martini (125) defeat Republican James Smith (98). Town Clerk Betty Daggett (194), Town Council Members Democrat Grant Downs (109) and Republican Colby Petersen (163), and Highway Superintendent Timothy Chambers (193) were all running unopposed.

7th NY Judicial District

It's rare for a judicial race for multiple seats to not include a single incumbent, but that's the case with this year's contest for state Supreme Court in the Seventh Judicial District.

Four candidates — two Democrats and two Republicans — were vying for two judgeships, one left by the mandatory retirement  of Justice Ann Marie Taddeo and the other created this year by the state Legislature.

Only one judge, Family Court Judge Jim Walsh, is among the candidates. Walsh and lawyer Elena Cariola were the Republican candidates, while lawyers Deral Givens and Maurice Verillo were the Democrats.

Cariola and Walsh also had Conservative endorsement, while Givens and Verrillo were backed by the Working Families Party.

The judicial district covers eight counties — Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, and Yates counties.

In Yates County, the returns were: Republican Judges Elena Cariola (2,333) and Jim Walsh (2,397) Democrats Maurice Verrillo (1,110) and Deral Givens (1,032). 

Statewide

Three ballot referendums on redistricting and voting reform sought by Democrats were soundly rejected. Moderate Democrats won the mayor's seats in the state's two largest cities, and Republicans rolled on Long Island.

Republicans were poised to be successful in their bid to get voters to reject three ballot propositions sought by Democrats that would have changed voting and the drawing of district lines.

Proposal 1 would have made changes to the state's redistricting process, Proposal 3 would have paved the way for same-day voter registration, and Proposal 4 would have allowed for "no-excuse" absentee voting.

They seemed destined toward defeat, while two others — one on environmental rights and other on increasing the jurisdiction of the New York City Civil Court — easily passed.

Some Democrats were able to win re-election with ease. For example, Westchester County Executive George Latimer cruised to a second term. But on Long Island, a key battleground for statewide races, Republicans appeared triumphant. The GOP swept the district attorney races in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and were ahead in the Nassau County executive race.

All of it serves as a backdrop to next year's governor's race, especially. Gov. Kathy Hochul, long viewed as a moderate Democrat, will be seeking a full term after succeeding ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who resigned amid scandal in August. She will face a host of more left-leaning candidates, including Attorney General Letitia James, possibly New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio — who formed an exploratory committee last week.

Includes reporting by Democrat and Chronicle reporter Gary Craig and USA TODAY Network government and politics editor Joseph Spector.