Despite a couple of races too close to call, Democrats will keep their hold on the Cayuga County Legislature, according to unofficial voting results posted on the Cayuga County Board of Elections website.

Democratic incumbents Ben Vitale, Keith Batman and Ryan Foley will represent Districts 3, 7, and 15, respectively, and political newcomer Elane Daly will represent District 11. Republican incumbents Tucker Whitman and Paul Pinckney kept their seats representing District 1 and District 4, respectively. Republican Charles Ripley also grabbed the District 9 seat. 

Two races remain tight for the District 4 and District 13 seats. Republican Chris Petrus has a slight lead over incumbent Legislator Grant Kyle for the elected office representing the town of Brutus. Incumbent Republican Legislator Tim Lattimore is holding onto his third and final term representing District 13 against Democrat Bob Nodzo by one vote.

Due to the Legislature's weighted voting system, Democrats needed 442 weighted votes to keep hold of the majority. They surpassed that Tuesday night with 479. Republicans had 305 votes in hand not including the two races too close to call. 

District 1: With no challengers, Whitman will continue to represent the towns of Sterling and Victory on the Legislature. Unofficial results show 671 votes cast for the incumbent and three write-ins. 

District 3: Vitale will also stay in his District 3 seat on the Legislature. Vitale had no challengers in Tuesday's election for representing the towns of Montezuma, Mentz and Throop. The unofficial vote tally showed Vitale receiving 750 votes, with 14 people writing in names.

District 4: Based on an unofficial 466 to 442 vote, the third time running for office might be a charm for Republican and Conservative candidate Petrus, but he wants to wait for the absentee ballots first. 

Incumbent District 4 Legislator Kyle agreed, though he said it was looking unlikely that he'd keep his seat Tuesday night representing the town of Brutus. Kyle was appointed to the Legislature in 2016 following the resignation of former Legislator Mark Farrell. Kyle ran on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families parties. 

"I'm feeling OK," Petrus said in a phone interview. "You can't count your chickens 'til they're hatched or whatever, but we have a good lead."

District 5: Pinckney will keep his seat representing the towns of Aurelius and Fleming after unofficially winning 591 votes against challenger Melissa Jenkin's 287.

Pinckney ran on the Republican and Conservative party lines and is the current chair of the Legislature's Planning Committee. Jenkin ran as a Democrat and under her own independent party called the Lake Party. 

District 7: A write-in campaign challenged but did not unseat incumbent Batman Tuesday night. Republican Bobby Massarini threw his hat in the ring too late to be on the ballot, but unofficial results showed 436 write-ins against Batman's 740 votes.

Batman, who is the current chair of the Legislature, ran on the Democratic, Working Families and Women's Equality party lines to represent the towns of Springport, Scipio and Ledyard.

District 9: Summerhill Town Supervisor Ripley will take a new government seat representing District 9 on the Legislature. He beat out Democratic, Independence and Fix Our Roads candidate Kathleen Gorr in an unofficial vote tally of 844 to 576.

The Republican will represent the towns of Summerhill, Sempronius, Moravia and Niles, replacing Legislator Terry Baxter. In turn, Baxter ran and won the Moravia town supervisor position Tuesday night.

District 11: Daly will work for Cayuga County once more. The former director of the county's health and human services department will serve Auburn residents in District 11 after beating out accountant Mike Lesch. The unofficial vote Tuesday night was 682 to 451.

Daly ran on the Democratic, Working Families and Auburn First party lines and Lesch ran on the Republican and Conservative lines. Daly will replace Legislator Frank Reginelli. 

District 13: One vote separates the two candidates for the District 13 seat, and it's in favor of incumbent Legislator Lattimore.

Lattimore had 305 votes against newcomer Nodzo's 304 votes. Ian Phillips, the county's Democratic Committee chair, said absentee ballots will determine the winner. Nodzo ran on the Democratic and Auburn First party lines while Lattimore, who seeks his third and final term, ran on the Republican, Conservative and Independent party lines.

District 15: With no challengers, Foley will keep his District 15 seat serving parts of the city of Auburn. Running on the Democratic and Working Families party lines, Foley received 347 votes, unofficially. There were nine write-ins. 

Staff writer Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (315) 282-2237 or gwendolyn.craig@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1.

2
1
1
0
6

County Government Reporter