Dan Hust | Democrat
DISTRICT ATTORNEY STEPHEN Lungen, left, praises the man he’s endorsed as his successor, Chief District Attorney Jim Farrell.
GOP tabs Farrell for District Attorney
By Dan Hust
CALLICOON Jim Farrell emerged the clear winner in Thursday’s vote to determine who the Republican Party committeepeople want to succeed Sullivan County District Attorney Steve Lungen.
What’s not yet clear is whether challenger and fellow Republican Mike McGuire will cede the race or force a primary.
At the end of Thursday’s Republican convention at the Villa Roma in Callicoon, Party Chairman John LiGreci said McGuire had indicated he would step out of the running if Farrell won the nomination.
“I don’t anticipate a primary for the DA’s race,” LiGreci remarked.
The next day, he added, “He [McGuire] indicated to me that he would not pursue it.”
Not so fast, according to McGuire.
“We have not reached a final decision yet,” McGuire said yesterday of he and his family. “Obviously I have a lot of things to consider… my family, my party, my county, my law practice.”
He said he respected the results of Thursday’s vote. With votes weighted by election district population (and some controversially cast before the convention officially named the nominees), McGuire earned 1,834.5 votes compared to Farrell’s 3,058.5.
He said he is still “decompressing” from an intense runup to the convention and is not yet ready to decide his future though he promised an announcement is not far away.
If he does decide to pursue a primary, he’ll have to acquire 700 signatures of support from registered Republicans.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Farrell and his boss were in a celebratory mood.
“I do want to thank you all,” he told the crowd of about 300. “… It comes from the bottom of my heart.”
“There has to be a winner, and there has to be a loser. That’s the way it has to be,” added Lungen, who is endorsing Farrell as his successor. “But the county is a winner.… I am very pleased with the vote tonight.”
Of course, it’s a bit bittersweet, he added.
“Essentially they’re putting me out to pasture,” he remarked ruefully, “and it’s difficult to do.”
Lungen thanked everyone “for allowing me to have the job of a lifetime” one he’ll have held for 28 years when he retires at the end of this year.