Rosa: "The rumors of my victory are greatly exaggerated"

The race for Delaware County judge between Republican incumbent Carl Becker and Democratic challenger Gary Rosa is still too close to call, despite rumors that have been circling that Rosa is the winner after a count of absentee ballots.

On election night, Becker led the returns with 8,335 votes to Rosa's 8,160. The tally was too close to declare a victor without counting absentee ballots. The Delaware County Board of Elections has been counting absentee ballots all week, and will not officially declare a winner until Monday, November 19, election officials said yesterday.

But today, an erroneous rumor spread among Rosa supporters that Rosa had gained a decisive lead over Becker in the absentee ballot count. The premature claims of Rosa's victory even made the Catskill Mountain News, which posted a story on its website Thursday headlined "Rosa Upends Becker In County Judge Race." Later in the day, the story was pulled from the newspaper's website, although the headline and first sentence could still be found in a Google search:

In a phone interview tonight, Rosa told the Watershed Post, "The rumors of my victory are greatly exaggerated."

The source of the rumor, Rosa said, was a misleading email sent from the Board of Elections on Thursday morning describing the absentee ballot count. The email stated that Rosa had a lead in the absentee ballot votes. But as of Thursday night, the count was not yet complete, Rosa said: Absentee ballots towns of Roxbury, Sidney, Stamford, Tompkins, and Walton have yet to be counted.

According to Rosa, it appears that Becker still maintains the lead in the votes as the absentee ballots come in.

"We've ended up being where we were on election night," he said.