QUEENSBURY — Democrat Family Court judge candidate Rob Smith said he does not plan to concede until all the absentee ballots are counted.
Republican Ted Wilson declared victory Tuesday night after receiving 13,778 machine votes compared with 12,401 for Smith.
Warren County election officials began counting absentee ballots on Wednesday and they said it could take a week to complete the process.
A total of 3,470 absentee ballots had been mailed out and around 3,100 had been received as of Wednesday.
Absentee ballots usually break the same way as the machine vote proportions. To win, Smith would have to capture around 60 percent of the absentee votes.
Wilson declared victory on Tuesday night at The Queensbury Hotel. Smith said late Wednesday that he is holding off on conceding.
“Although the odds don’t look good I am waiting for the absentees to be counted before I make a concession. I believe that I owe that to my friends, family and supporters,” he said. “Regardless of the final determination I wish to thank everyone who took an interest in my campaign, to all of the voters and most importantly to my beautiful wife, my two boys and my friends and family. I am incredibly proud of the honest and clean campaign that we ran despite some pretty egregious accusations.”
The campaign had become contentious. Smith said among the accusations is that his campaign planted negative stories about Wilson.
Attorney Melody Mackenzie, who supported Smith, had come forward to tell the media that she had made a complaint against Wilson. She said that Wilson lost his temper and verbally berated her during a contentious divorce case.
The candidates also clashed over experience, over who handled more Family Court cases.
The winning candidate will replace J. Timothy Breen, who died last January from cancer.
Also undecided is the race for Supreme Court justice in the Fourth Judicial District, which includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Schenectady, St. Lawrence, Warren and Washington counties.
Mark Powers, who has the Democratic and Conservative Party lines had 160,479 votes compared with 159,064 for Republican Timothy Lawliss.
There are at least 21,000 absentee ballots to be counted that have been returned so far, according to figures from the county clerk’s offices. More could still come in, as ballots are valid as long as they were postmarked by Monday.
Powers has been Family Court judge in Schenectady County for the last 11 years and an Acting Supreme Court justice since 2004.
Lawliss is a Clinton County Family Court judge and an acting Supreme Court justice, handling a variety of matrimonial, prisoner litigation and civil lawsuits in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties, according to his website.