Gigliotti hangs onto Surrogate Court judge seat

County Surrogate’s Court Judge Louis P. Gigliotti will keep the judicial job he was appointed to earlier this year.

Democrat Gigliotti leads Republican Claudia Tenney 19,972 votes to 16,573, based on returns from 186 of 192 districts in Tuesday’s balloting. Tenney is an attorney, and Gigliotti was one before becoming a judge.

Neither Gigliotti nor Tenney could be reached this morning.

Gigliotti carried the cities of Rome and Utica and eight towns, while Tenney won in 18 towns.

Utican Gigliotti ran with the endorsements of the Democratic, Independence, Conservative and Working Families parties. Tenney’s name was on just the Republican line. The New Hartford resident won the GOP endorsement by defeating Michael Laucello in the Republican primary in September. Laucello was the choice of the county GOP Committee.

"I was a little surprised. I thought it would be closer," said county GOP Chairman George E. Joseph. "It was too close to call beforehand."

He said Gigliotti’s victory may have been aided by his name appearing on the ballot multiple times and being the incumbent, even if only for a short time.

"They’re both two well-known attorneys," he said.

Tenney is the daughter the late John R. Tenney, who was a state Supreme Court justice for more than 35 years. Although she invokes that connection in her political advertising, it has been not enough win her a judicial post. She lost the Republican primary to run for Surrogate’s Court judge in 2005.

Gigliotti was appointed Surrogate’s Court judge in April to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of David A. Murad, who was elected a state Supreme Court judge in 2008.

Surrogate’s Court deals with estates, guardianships and adoptions. The judge’s full term is 10 years. The annual salary is $119,800.