By Hugh Reynolds and Dan Barton
With all 126 districts re-porting, incumbent District Attorney Holley Carnright has scored a substantial 7,500-vote victory over challenger Jonathan Sennett.
Unofficial returns showed Carnright, a Saugerties Republican, with 22,174 votes (60 percent) to 14,652 for Sennett, a New Paltz Democrat.
Carnright attributed his victory to a campaign which focused on his accomplishments during his four-year tenure as DA. “We ran on my experience and my record, and apparently that resonated with voters,” Carnright said. The DA added he wanted to concentrate on reducing the rate of domestic violence in Ulster through a combination of outreach and aggressive prosecution of offenders. Carnright improved on his 2007 record, when he tallied just under 21,000 votes, while Sennett slipped by about 2,000; Conservative Vincent Bradley Jr. polled 10,691 votes in that election. Carnright also had the Conservative and Independence endorsements this year. Sennett was also endorsed by the Working Families Party.
Board of Elections Commissioner Tom Turco said breakdowns of votes on party lines and countywide candidates by towns and wards would not be available until next week. Absentee ballots will also be counted next week.
Republicans appear to have retained control of the redistricted county legislature, taking 12 of 23 seats.
In local legislature races, the Town of Ulster’s Jim Maloney (R) won re-election in the new District 4, handily defeating Democratic challenger Mark Trott 1,351-607. In Kingston’s District 6, David Donaldson’s 956 votes held off challengers Mike Madsen (405), Ellen DiFalco (335) and Lenny Walker (320). In the city’s District 5, Democrat Peter Loughran got 1,723 votes to win his uncontested election. In the city’s District 7, Democrat Jeanette Provenzano, also running unopposed, tallied 1,546 votes. In District 8 in the Town of Esopus, Republican Carl Belfiglio kept his seat by fending off a challenge by Democrat Roscoe Pecora 942-678.
County Executive Michael Hein, running unopposed on the Democratic and Independence party tickets, tallied 25,801 votes. Three years ago in a presidential year, Hein topped 45,000 votes. Presidential elections typically turn out about 10,000 more voters.