It's one of the tighter primary races in Central New York. So tight, there is no clear winner of the Republican primary. With 617 absentee ballots still to be counted, it's very possible Mike Korchak could make a comeback.
"Yes, it's certainly possible [for] Mr. Korchak but there's also a difference between them now in the regular ballots that were cast. So that difference would have to be made up," said Oliver Blaise, Republican Elections commissioner.
In an unofficial tally of votes, Paul Battisti earned 4,564 votes while Korchak, the incumbent, had 4,427 votes. Battisti earned 50.8 percent of the votes to Korchak’s 49.2 percent.
Battisti has been a criminal defense attorney for 14 years and runs his own private practice. In a statement released Tuesday night, he spoke on the election cycle thus far.
“I’m honored and humbled to have earned the trust of nearly 5,000 Republican voters in Broome County to serve as their candidate for district attorney in this fall’s election.
Looking ahead, we will look forward to the Absentee Ballot count on July 8 and then, God willing if successful, continue campaigning hard to spread our message of new leadership to make Broome County safer from violent crime and the scourge of the opioid epidemic.
I would like to extend my appreciation to Mike Korchak for running a spirited campaign. While we disagreed on many issues, he campaigned hard and I respect that,” Battisti said.
"We have quite a time that we'll have to spend just waiting around, but it will be worth it. We worked hard. Both campaigns worked hard, and I'm going to try and stay positive. Obviously we're a little behind, but with 600-something ballots not yet counted, we really have to wait and see," Korchak said.
Those absentee ballots will be counted on July 8.
"I'm very confident and God willing July 9 we will hit the ground running and begin our campaign once again for this November," Battisti said.
The winner of the Republican Primary will battle Democrat Debra Gelson in the general election. Current District Attorney Steve Cornwell planned in 2018 not to seek re-election.