State Assemblyman Gary Finch will be returning to Albany for his 10th full term.
After a hard-fought campaign with fellow southern Cayuga County resident Keith Batman, Finch carried majorities in every county in the district on his way to the victory. The unofficial tally as of 10:45 p.m. was 27,783 to 21,276.
Both candidates for the 126th Assembly District are well-known southern Cayuga County residents. Batman, a Cayuga County legislator from Scipio, challenged Finch, a nine-term incumbent from Springport.
The two candidates have engaged in an intense campaign in which both have claimed credit for helping secure state funding for the Owasco Lake water quality crisis. Finch has argued he was pivotal in delivering millions of dollars for water treatment plant upgrades, but Batman, who was chairman of the county Legislature when funding came through, has said the Assemblyman was not involved.
They've also clashed on issues such as universal health care and legalizing recreational use of marijuana (Finch opposes both while Batman supports).
The 126th Assembly District includes all of Auburn and the southern half of Cayuga County, along with parts of Onondaga, Cortland and Chenango counties.
130th Assembly District
The other Assembly race in Cayuga County pitted two farmers against each other in a battle to replace retiring Assemblyman Bob Oaks, R-Macedon. The 130th Assembly District includes the northern half of Cayuga County, along with all of Wayne County and part of Oswego County.
Republican Brian Manktelow, a crop farmer who is also supervisor in the Wayne County town of Lyons, easily defeated Democrat Scott Comegys, an alpaca farmer in Palmyra.
With 96 percent of voting districts reported, Manktelow had collected 64 percent of the vote. His 27,498 votes significantly outpaced the 13,447 votes Comegys received.
51st Senate District
A political newcomer came up short challenging a 32-year incumbent in the 51st Senate District, a sprawling district that stretches from Ulster County to the southwest portion of Cayuga County.
Republican Sen. James Seward, from the Otsego County town of Milford, was winning comfortably, taking 62 percent of the vote with 98 percent of voting districts reported. Seward had 61,659 votes to 34,383 for his challenger, Democrat Joyce St. George of the Delaware County town of Margaretville.
Seward has served in the Senate since 1986. St. George is a former New York City government corruption investigator and law enforcement consultant.
“I am thrilled and humbled with the victory and look forward to continuing the strong partnerships I have developed with the people of the 51st Senate District, ensuring our needs, our views, and our values are well represented in Albany,” Seward said Tuesday night. “I have never lost sight of the reason I first ran for senator – to serve the public, and help improve the lives of the people who call this area home. That is a responsibility I take extremely seriously and one I will continue to uphold."
54th Senate District
In a rematch from 2016, state Sen. Pam Helming, R-Canandaigua, easily beat back a challenge in her first re-election attempt from Democratic Rose town supervisor Kenan Baldridge.
The two candidates faced off in 2016, along with a third candidate, in the race to succeed longtime state Sen. Michael Nozzolio. The 54th Senate District encompasses all or parts of five Finger Lakes counties, including the western half of Cayuga County.
Helming captured 60 percent of the vote on Tuesday, with 63,566 votes in her favor compared with 38,369 votes for Baldridge.
State Supreme Court
Cayuga County voters had a voice in the race for two state Supreme Court seats in the state's Seventh Judicial District. In that race, Republicans Ann Marie Taddeo and Vicki Argento prevailed.
Onondaga County voters chose four state Supreme Court justices in the Fifth Judicial District. The winners were Democrat Scott J. DelConte and Republicans Gerry Neri, James P. Murphy and Donald A. Greenwood.