QUEENSBURY — The race for Warren County Family Court judge officially concluded on Wednesday, as Republican Ted Wilson’s lead held up following the counting of absentee ballots.
Wilson had declared victory on Election Night after receiving 13,778 machine votes compared with 12,401 for Democrat Rob Smith. But Smith did not officially concede because he was waiting for more than 3,000 absentee ballots to be counted.
When all the votes were counted, Wilson finished with 15,351 votes. Smith’s final total was 13,934.
Wilson said Wednesday he was a little anxious when he realized there were a large number of absentee ballots to be counted.
“It’s nice to know it’s official. I’m ready to go. I’m excited,” he said.
Wilson credited his election to hard work by all the people on his campaign, himself included, to get his message out. Wilson works as the court attorney for state Supreme Court Justice Stan Pritzker.
Wilson’s first day on the job will be Jan. 3, 2017, since Jan. 2 falls on a Monday and is being observed as the New Year’s Day federal holiday. Wilson said he has some people in mind for his court attorney position but nothing ready to announce yet.
Wilson will succeed J. Timothy Breen, who died last January from cancer.
Smith, who is the court attorney for Warren County Judge John Hall, said he was honored to have the opportunity to run and is pleased with his campaign. He is also grateful for the new friends he made.
“I’m certainly disappointed about the outcome but extremely proud for putting myself out there and taking a chance to be a candidate again,” he said.
Smith ran unsuccessfully last year for a newly created judgeship in Family Court, losing to Paulette Kershko.
The race for the Supreme Court seat in the Fourth Judicial District is still not decided, according to the state Board of Elections.
Mark Powers, who ran on the Democratic and Conservative Party lines, received 160,479 machine votes, compared with 159,064 for Republican Timothy Lawliss.
Powers sought to impound the ballots, which delayed counting in some counties. The Fourth Judicial District covers Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Schenectady, St. Lawrence, Warren and Washington counties. Some of the counties are still processing ballots.
Powers has been Family Court judge in Schenectady County for the past 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.