Incumbent Delaware County judge Carl Becker, a Republican, has eked out a victory against Democratic challenger Gary Rosa in a race that was too close to call without counting absentee ballots.
On Thursday afternoon, the county Board of Elections finished its count of all absentee ballots they have received so far. The unofficial tally, according to Democratic commissioner Judy Garrison, currently stands at 9,139 votes for Becker and 8,949 for Rosa -- a difference of only 190 votes.
Because of an excecutive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office to ensure Sandy-affected New Yorkers could vote, the Board of Elections must keep accepting valid absentee ballots until Monday.
"Until it's certified, absentee ballots can still come in," said Garrison.
But at this late date, it is vanishingly unlikely that enough absentee ballots could come in to shift the vote in Rosa's direction.
On Thursday, a rumor was spreading on social media and among close watchers of the race that Rosa was winning, a rumor that Rosa said was the result of a misleading email sent to his campaign from the Board of Elections. The Catskill Mountain News declared on their website Thursday afternoon that Rosa had won the race, then removed the story from their homepage. Today, the paper offered an explanation:
Information supplied to the News on Thursday afternoon by Democratic Party officials indicated that Mr. Rosa had won the election. Those figures turned out to be incorrect and the News removed the story from its website after party officials corrected the misinformation.
Rosa conceded the race in a statement posted on his campaign Facebook wall this afternoon:
In all elections there must be a winner and a loser. I knew going in that I was the underdog, but thanks to all of you, we made this a very close race. I want to take this opportunity to offer my heart felt appreciation to all of you for your encouragement and support throughout the campaign. So many gave so freely of their time, talent and resources that I know not how to fully express my deep gratitude except to say “Thank You” from the bottom of my heart.
From our election coverage of the Delaware County judge race: A Q&A with candidates Gary Rosa and Carl Becker about the issues central to the race.