GOP takes 3, Dems 1 in 4th Judicial District
Updated 12:23 a.m.
Supreme Court Justice Joseph Sise cruised to an easy re-election in an unusually crowded and competitive race in the 4th Judicial District.
The Republicans won three of the four seats, with the Democrats winning one. The race was too close to call for one justice post.
Sise, 49, a Republican from Montgomery County, was thousands of votes ahead of the others as votes were tallied. He won a clear victory.
In addition, Rotterdam Republican Thomas Buchanan and Schenectady Family Court Judge Christine Clark, a Democrat, were elected.
It wasn’t yet clear who the fourth justice would be. With 57 percent of the vote counted throughout 11 counties, Montgomery County Court Judge Felix Catena and Franklin County Family Court magistrate John Ellis were neck-and-neck.
“It’s going to be between me and Felix,” Ellis said, as the numbers gave one a slight lift, then favored the other.
Buchanan was pleased that the race had come down to two candidates on the Republican and Conservative lines, which he and Sise also had.
“The voters trust conservatives in the Supreme Court in New York State,” he said.
Sise’s seat had been the only one scheduled for this year’s election in the 4th Judicial District, which covers 11 counties from Schenectady to the Canadian border.
But three other judges were forced to retire because they had each reached the mandatory retirement age of 70, creating a crowded race for four seats.
All three aged-out justices asked for a two-year extension, but the decision on that will not be made until after the election. If they are allowed to stay on, they will serve as additional justices in the district.
The justices elected Tuesday will serve 14-year terms.