Cayuga County Legislature control too close to call on Election Night

Cayuga County Legislature control too close to call on Election Night

A single vote is separating the candidates in a race that will determine which party controls the Cayuga County Legislature in 2020.

Unofficial election results Tuesday night showed Democrats picking up two seats in Auburn while Republicans flipped a seat in the southern end of the county. Those three races, along with the uncontested seats and seats not up for election this year, left the weighted vote split in the Legislature at 418 for Democrats and 417 for Republicans.

With 442 weighted votes needed for a majority, all eyes next week will be on absentee ballot counting in District 14, where one vote separates incumbent Republican Michael Didio and Democratic challenger Gwen Webber-McLeod.

Republican incumbents Andrew Dennison and Christopher Petrus and Democratic incumbent Aileen McNabb-Coleman were not contested in this year's election so all three have earned another four-year term.

Here's a look at the results in the four contested races:

District 8 (Genoa, Locke, Venice): Hans Pecher, running on the GOP and Conservative lines, won the rematch in a race with incumbent Democrat Joseph DeForest, who was also on the Working Families Party line. Pecher, a former legislator who lost to DeForest four years earlier, received 665 votes to DeForest's 404. 

District 10 (Auburn): In a race to replace current Legislator Joseph Bennett, Heidi Nightengale, on the Democratic, Working Families and Auburn lines, leads 349-323 over Republican, Conservative and Independence candidate Edward Darrow. There are 43 absentee ballots issued in that race, according to the Cayuga County Board of Election, which means Darrow's chances of coming back are low.

District 12 (Auburn): Democratic, Working Families and Auburn candidate Tricia Ottley Kerr easily topped Thomas Adessa, who ran on the Republican, Conservative and Independence line. Ottley Kerr received 679 votes to 459 for Adessa.

District 14 (Auburn): Incumbent Didio (Republican, Conservative, Independence) leads challenger Webber-McLeod, 560-559. In that race, 114 absentee ballots were issued. Ballots sent by mail and postmarked by the deadline have until Nov. 13 to arrive at the BOE. Counting of absentee ballots will begin next week.

In another Cayuga County Legislature-related matter, 79 percent of voters answered yes to a question about changing legislative terms in the 2021 race to align the full the body into the same election cycle. That measure will allow the Legislature more options to consider for redistricting after the 2020 U.S. Census results are released.

Supervisor races

Two incumbent town supervisors in Cayuga County were defeated.

In Sennett, Democrat Thomas Gray defeated two-term incumbent Peter C. Adams, 517-434. Gray returns to the seat he held in 2014 and 2015.

In a three-way race in Throop, Democrat Eric Ridley prevailed. He received 315 votes, compared with 214 for Republican/Conservative incumbent William Tarby and 98 votes for Libertarian Dayton Carpenter.

In the only other contested supervisor race, Cato incumbent Charles Ray, on the Democratic, Republican, Conservative and Independence lines, beat an independent challenge from Edward Mossow, 338-70.


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