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Democrat Photo by Matt Youngfrau

Don Trotta

Republicans Get
The Upper Hand

By Matt Youngfrau
NEW YORK STATE — November 8, 2002 – While elections were held statewide Tuesday, many results will not be known until the end of the month.
But one thing that does appear evident is that the Republican Party has gained power throughout the state, a situation echoed across the country. The Republicans also picked up steam in Sullivan County, where their three local candidates won their races in a county that is predominantly Democratic.
All results are preliminary. The hearings to count all emergency, affidavit, and absentee ballots are scheduled to begin on Wednesday, November 13. The Board of Elections, due to a court order, cannot recanvass the ballots until today.
District 4 Legislator
The major upset occurred in Legislative District 4, which covers most of the Town of Mamakating. Former Mamakating Supervisor and Town Justice Don Trotta (Republican and Green) appears to have beaten incumbent Jonathan Rouis (Democratic and Conservative).
As it stands now, Trotta has 1,005 votes to Rouis’ 864 votes. With a 141-vote lead and 140 absentee ballots to be counted, it appears Trotta is the new District 4 Legislator. However, one of the polls in Mamakating had some difficulties, and 16 people voted on a ballot without the Legislative Race. It is unclear how or if that will affect the final results.
“It is not finalized. The results are still up in the air,” Trotta said cautiously, but . . . “I am ecstatic. I am happy for the Mamakating voters who supported me.
“Jonathan Rouis is a fine young man that ran a good campaign,” continued Trotta. “I have a lot of respect and admiration for him. It looks like the people chose me over him.”
District 3 Legislator
Another Legislature seat was up in District 3, which encompasses the towns of Rockland, Fremont, and most of Neversink. Incumbent and Sullivan County Republican Party Chair Greg Goldstein (also on the Conservative line) easily bested his challenger, Democrat Robert McLeod. Goldstein received 1,510 votes to McCleod’s 660 votes.
“I am very happy the way things turned out,” Goldstein stated. “The people knew who I was and what they were getting. I will serve Sullivan County and my district to the best of my ability.”
Family Court Judge
The only countywide race was for Sullivan County Family Court Judge. Incumbent Judge Mark Meddaugh (Republican and Conservative) beat Village of Liberty Justice Elissa Killian (Democratic and Independence). Meddaugh received 10,731 votes as opposed to Killian’s 6,715 votes.
“I want to thank all my friends, family and supporters,” commented Meddaugh. “We have worked very hard the last ten years. With everyone’s hard work, we were able to reduce the caseload. I will work harder to reduce the load over the next ten years.”
Other Local Decisions
There were three other votes locally. In the Town of Lumberland, Virginia Horn was elected Town Clerk by 397 votes. She ran unopposed. In the Town of Callicoon, there was a proposal to change the Highway Superintendent’s term of office from two years to four years. That was defeated by a 352-231 count. In the Town of Cochecton, there was a proposal to establish a Department of Public Works. That was also defeated by a count of 298-190.
State Races
Throughout the state, there were seven other races that affected Sullivan County.
Jake Gunther (Democrat, Conservative) retained his New York State Assembly seat in the 98th District (which includes all of Sullivan County). In Sullivan County, Gunther received 12,030 votes (17,657 in the district total). Republican, Working Families and We Love Ben Candidate William Brenner received 4,508 votes (8,034 in the district). Right to Life candidate Gerald McMurrer received 296 votes (555 in the district). Green Party candidate Jean Raboff received 244 votes (347 in the district).
New York State Senator John Bonacic easily retained his seat in the 42nd District (which includes all of Sullivan County). Bonacic (Republican, Conservative) received 10,213 votes (45,969 total in the district). Right to Life candidate Matthew Tierney received 499 votes (2,317 in the district). Libertarian candidate Jennifer Rog received 380 votes (2,628 in the district).
In the new 22nd District to represent all of Sullivan County and other areas in the United States Congress, 26th District incumbent (Democratic Independence, Liberal, and Working Families) Maurice Hinchey retained his seat. In Sullivan County, Hinchey received 11,070 votes (105,548 in his district). Republican and Conservative candidate and newcomer Eric Hall received 5,651 votes (54,962 in total). Right to Life candidate Paul Laux received 276 votes (2,377 votes). Green Party candidate Steven Greenfield received 197 votes (2,419 total).
In the New York State Attorney General race, Eliot Spitzer retained his seat. Spitzer (Democratic, Independence, Liberal, and Working Families) received 10,039 votes (1,281,795 statewide). Republican and Conservative candidate Dora Irizarry received 5,700 votes (587,651 statewide). Right to Life candidate John Broderick received 388 votes (statewide total 74,090). Green candidate Mary Jo Long received 234 votes (state total 48,391). Libertarian candidate Daniel Conti Jr. received 120 votes (state total 23,912).
The Comptroller race is very close and could be decided by the absentee ballots. Democrat, Liberal, and Working Families candidate Alan Hevesi is currently in the lead with 1,693,385 votes (7,043 in Sullivan County). Republican, Independence, and Conservative candidate John Faso has 1,576,503 votes (8,623 in Sullivan County).
In Sullivan County, the results were: Right to Life candidate Garifalia Christea with 278 votes (statewide 58,490), Green candidate Howie Hawkins with 233 votes (statewide 45,555) and Libertarian candidate James Eisert with 115 votes (statewide 20,696).
For Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Republican and Conservative choices and incumbents George Pataki and Mary Donohue were re-elected. In the state, they had 2,156,170 votes (10,407 in Sullivan County). Democratic and Working Families candidates H. Carl McCall and Dennis Mehiel received 1,442,668 votes (4,618 in Sullivan County). Independence candidates B. Thomas Golisano and Mary Donohue received 629,275 votes (2,945 in the County).
Sullivan County totals: Liberal candidates Andrew Cuomo and Charles King received 54 votes (statewide 16,398, even though they had ceased campaigning months ago); Right to Life candidates Gerald Cronin and Stasia Vogel received 215 votes (statewide 42,884); Green Party candidates Stanley Aronowitz and Jennifer Daniels received 160 votes (statewide 40,480); Marijuana Reform candidates Thomas Leighton and Thomas Hillgardner received 150 votes (statewide 22,683); Libertarian candidates Scott Jeffrey and Jay Greco received 51 votes (statewide 9,252).
* * *
All results are unofficial at least until the end of the month.
One other fallout from Tuesday’s elections: due to a lack of turnout and receiving less than 50,000 votes throughout the state, the Liberal, Green, and Right to Life lines will be removed from the ballot. Petitions must be filed for a candidate to get that line back on the ballot.

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