Buttenschon takes Assembly 119; veteran Magee trails in District 121

Published Nov 7, 2018 at 4:00pm

Marcy Democrat Marianne Buttenschon unofficially won election to the state Assembly 119th District Tuesday, defeating Utica Republican Dennis Bova with about 52 percent of the vote.

Buttenschon got 19,497 votes in Tuesday’s election and won the Oneida County portion, 56 percent to 44 percent.

The district includes Rome, Floyd, Whitestown, Marcy, Utica, and Frankfort in Herkimer County. Democrats comprise about 40 percent of registered voters, Republicans about 32 percent, and no-party voters about 20 percent.

It was an open seat, with incumbent Anthony Brindisi running for Congress. Buttenschon also was in the Independence Party line and Bova on the Conservative and Reform lines.

In Assembly District 121, Democratic Assemblyman Bill Magee trailed Republican John Salka after Tuesday’s voting by fewer than 1,000 votes with 46,765 cast Tuesday. Salka had about 49.5 percent to Magee’s 47.4 percent.

The district includes all of Madison County, Sherrill, Vernon, Augusta, Marshall, Sangerfield, Bridgewater, and most of Otsego County. Republicans have a 39 percent to 29 percent registration advantage, with nearly 23 percent not registered in any party.

Magee, chairman of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, has served 28 years. Magee faced a Democratic primary in September, while Salka, the Brookfield supervisor, had no primary.

In the state Senate, incumbent Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, was unopposed and got 75 percent of the votes cast, with about 24 percent blank, in the 47th district covering Rome, Utica and most of central Oneida County.

Griffo will now be part of the chamber’s minority following Democrats winning enough seats to control it when it reconvenes in January.

In Senate District 53, which includes Madison County, the city of Oneida and Kirkland, first-time Democratic candidate Rachel May of Syracuse was the apparent winner, with 49 percent of the vote against Republican Janet Berl Burman.

May had defeated veteran David Valesky in the September primary, a result that helped end the power of a small group of Senate Democrats who often caucused with Republicans to give the GOP control of that chamber of the state Legislature. Valesky remained on the Working Families and Women’s Equality lines and did not actively campaign but still received more than 11 percent of the vote.

In the race for Oneida County clerk, incumbent Sandra DePerno was nominally ahead, leading Republican challenger David Gordon by 1,046 votes, or 50.7 to 49.2 percent.  

In other Assembly races, Republican Robert Smullen defeated Democrat Keith Rubino with 60 percent of the vote to Rubino’s 34 percent for District 118.

The district includes Lee, Western, Steuben, Deerfield, Trenton, Boonville, and parts of Herkimer, Hamilton and St. Lawrence counties. Republicans outnumber Democrats in registration, 46 percent to 26 percent. Incumbent Marc Butler was not running

In Assembly District 101, Republican incumbent Brian Miller was the apparent winner, taking better than 55 percent of Tuesday’s votes to Democrat Chad McAvoy’s 39 percent.

The district is long north to south and largely one town wide, extending from New Hartford through Paris southward to northern Orange County.

Republicans have a 39 percent to 30 percent enrollment plurality.

In Assembly District 117, incumbent Republican Kenneth Blankenbush ran unopposed. The district includes Kirkland, Westmoreland, Verona, Vienna, Annsville, Camden, Florence, Ava, Remsen, Forestport, all of Lewis County and parts off Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. Republicans outnumber Democrats by registration, 44 percent to 27 percent and a fifth independent.

The top four finishers in voting for four 14-year terms on the New York Supreme Court for the fifth judicial district were James Murphy, 12.4 percent; Gerry Neri, 12.4 percent; Donald Greenwood, 12.3 percent; and Scott DelConte, the lone Democrat, with just under 12 percent.

The court mainly deals with civil litigation involving values greater than $25,000, divorce, separation and annulment proceedings; equity suits, such as mortgage foreclosures and injunctions.

The 5th district includes Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Onondaga and Oswego counties and is based in Syracuse, with judges spread among the counties.

Democratic Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol ran unopposed and got 95 percent of the vote, with 247 write-ins.

In statewide races, Oneida County backed Republican Marc Molinaro over incumbent and winner Andrew Cuomo, nearly 58 percent to 35 percent. Republicans outnumber Democrats slightly, 48,501 to 43,776, according to the state Board of Elections tally of active enrolled voters as of Nov. 1. Unaffiliated voters number more than 27,000.

For U.S. senator, incumbent Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand barely won Oneida County with fractionally more than 50 percent of the vote over Republican Chele Farley.

For attorney general, Oneida County voters backed Republican Keith Wofford, 54 percent over Democrat and winner Letitia James, and incumbent Democratic Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who got 52 percent of the vote.

Turnout was about 59 percent of Oneida County’s current active voters as calculated by the race for governor, compared to 50 percent statewide.