Jon Budelmann was reelected Cayuga County District Attorney on Tuesday night, securing his fourth term as the county's top prosecutor.
The incumbent defeated his Democratic challenger, Auburn attorney Thomas Turturo, by a margin of 33 percent. Budelmann, who ran on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines, has led the county's DA office for the last 12 years.
Budelmann said during the Republican watch party at A.T. Walley & Co. in Auburn that he's glad the election is behind him, and "to get back to work and out of politics again."
He said his office is preparing for the Article 245 Discovery to come into effect in January, which he said he would will result in a "20-fold increase" for the office's workload. He said he appreciates the community's support.
"It's part of the job, but I'm glad this part of the job's over, and now we can get back to concentrating on the actual job," he said.
Per unofficial election results, Budelmann received 10,783 votes while his opponent received 5,423. Turturo, a criminal defense and civil litigation attorney who runs The Turturo Law Firm in Auburn, is a first-time political candidate.
"Thank you to all the wonderful neighbors, friends, and family who helped us put together the Tom Turturo for D.A. campaign! I are very proud of the 5,423 people who came out to show their support," Turturo wrote in a statement to The Citizen.
"I also want to congratulate Jon Budelmann on his victory and pledge to work with him as he observes this mandate for new solutions. My family and I are excited to re-focus on our work and to continue growing the Turturo Law Firm as Central New York's premier defender of family and community values," the statement continued.
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Budelmann, 52, was endorsed by several law enforcement organizations — including Auburn Police Officers Local 195, the New York State Police Investigators Association and the Cayuga County Sheriffs Employees Association, among others.
The DA put his track record as a prosecutor at the forefront of his latest reelection campaign and stressed his 27 years of experience as a prosecutor, with more than 100 felony trials resulting in convictions. He has also criticized Turturo for having no prosecution experience.
"The truth is I've had 27 years experience prosecuting crimes. My opponent has not prosecuted a single case. In fact, he has not had a single successful felony trial, whereas I've had over a hundred of them right here in Cayuga County," Budelmann said during the Oct. 24 debate between the two candidates.
While introducing himself during the forum, Budelmann touched on his community service as a board member for six not-for-profits and an instructor teaching laws of evidence at Cayuga Community College.
Budelmann is a 25-year employee of the Cayuga County DA's office. He first joined the office as an Assistant District Attorney in 1995 before becoming a chief ADA later the same year. After his first successful bid for DA, the 1992 graduate of the George Washington University National Law Center won reelection in 2011 and then again in 2015.
His office was awarded the District Attorneys Association of NYS Appellate Prosecutor of the Year Award and the Sexual Assault Victims Advocate Resource Gold Award for its prosecution of domestic violence and sexual assault cases, Budelmann noted in The Citizen's online candidate guide submission form.
"The Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office is staffed with experienced and dedicated professionals. I am proud of our record of aggressively prosecuting offenders and protecting this community," he wrote.