GLOVERSVILLE - Republican Traci DiMezza was the apparent winner in the race for Gloversville City Court judge Tuesday.
She held a 338-vote lead over John Clo, according to unofficial vote totals from the Fulton County Board of Elections. However, 324 absentee ballots have not yet been counted and about 95 more absentee ballots still could come in, according to the Board of Elections. All remaining ballots that may come in have to be postmarked no later than Nov. 5 to be counted, officials said.
In Tuesday's voting at the polls, DiMezza received 2,148 votes, while Clo received 1,810 votes, according to unofficial results.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
Traci DiMezza, the apparent winner in the Gloversville City Court election, is shown with Fulton County Republican Committee Chairwoman Sue McNeil, far left, DiMezza's campaign manager and sister, Ranee Henry, and DiMezza’s husband, Joe DiMezza, at Patricia’s Restaurant in Johnstown on Tuesday night.
"This means everything to me," DiMezza said Tuesday night. "We have worked on this for a very long time, and I am personally ready to take that next step and start serving the city of Gloversville."
She said she was celebrating her apparent election-night victory with her committee, family, husband and two children at Patricia's Restaurant in Johnstown.
DiMezza was endorsed by the city Republican committee after she won the Republican primary. DiMezza also won the Conservative party nomination in September.
The Conservative line made a difference during this election, giving DiMezza 355 votes.
"I knew that securing the conservative line would probably be the key to victory, and I worked really hard soliciting the people registered in the city on that line," DiMezza said. "I really focused on pushing my conservative idealisms, which are a strong law-and-order policy and a strict enforcement of the law."
DiMezza has practiced law for 17 years after receiving a law degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law in Hamden, Conn., in 1995. She earned a bachelor's degree in political science at Siena College in Loudonville and an associate degree from Fulton-Montgomery Community College.
She has worked in advanced criminal law as an appellate attorney with the Schenectady County public defender's office and has been a Fulton County law guardian for children and youths in custody, abuse, neglect, juvenile delinquency and Persons in Need of Supervision proceedings.
She said one of her primary concerns when she takes the judgeship will be to look into the efficiency of the court.
"Whether the court is run efficiently and cost-effectively is one of the main things I want to look at," said DiMezza. "Most importantly, I want to make sure the decisions I make are responsive to the needs of the city."
Clo was previously appointed City Court judge in mid-December by Mayor Dayton King to fill out the term of retiring Judge Vincent DeSantis, but this was the first outright election for the position. He ran in the general election on a single independent line called Truth and Honor.
Clo was unavailable for comment Tuesday night and this morning.
According to the latest campaign financial disclosure documents posted on the state Board of Elections website, Clo had received $4,760 in campaign contributions and DiMezza had received $34,843. The disclosure showed DiMezza had provided nearly all of her own contributions.
The documents also showed Clo had spent $8,015 on his campaign while DiMezza had spent $33,780.
The City Court judgeship carries a 10-year term and pays $127,400 annually.
DiMezza will be sworn in Jan. 1. She then will have to attend judge's school, said DiMezza. She said during her absence, Joan Antonik will fill in for her as judge.
Though Matthew Trainor stopped campaigning after his September loss in the Republican primary, he remained on the ballot Tuesday and received 127 votes.
Mayor Dayton King this morning said he went to Patricia's Tuesday night to congratulate DiMezza and told her to stop at City Hall so he and the city attorney can help acclimate her to the new position.
"I congratulated her and her family on the win and told her that she deserved it after the hard work she put in to get here," said King.
Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org