Sara McGinty decisively defeated party designee Sharon Graff for the Democratic nomination for Ulster County surrogate’s court judge, taking 53 percent of some 4,000 votes cast on Tuesday night.
“For now I’m happy, a little stunned and profoundly grateful to the people who supported me,” she said.
Graff, who led in unofficial early returns, congratulated her opponent, thanked her supporters and said she looked forward to the final official tally next week.
With 100 percent of districts reporting, McGinty, a former Rosendale town justice, tallied 2,129 votes to Graff’s 1,856. The total represented about 10 percent of enrolled county Democrats.
The race is not over until the county board of elections certifies returns. Sources in both camps indicated there are about 500 absentee ballots to be counted next week. Graff would have to take over 60 percent of those votes to close the gap.
At the same time, Graff retains three lines on the ballot as the candidate of the Working Families Party, Green Party and Women’s Equality Party.
The official winner will face Republican Peter Matera on Nov. 8. Matera also has the endorsement of the Conservative, Independence and Reform parties.
In other Democratic primary races, Kelleigh McKenzie of Rosendale scored a 1,896-991 victory over Karen Markisenis of Kingston (formerly of the Town of Ulster) in the contest for state committee member from the 103rd Assembly District. Markisenis was the party’s unofficial nominee at its June convention.
In the race for county committee in Kingston’s Ward 3, former alderman Brad Will tallied 34 votes, former mayor Jim Sottile 29 and former mayoral secretary Ellen DiFalco 18. The top two vote-getters were elected.