Ballots are still being counted, but the Westchester County District Attorney’s race could already be decided, according to challenger Mimi Rocah.
Rocha’s camp is declaring victory, saying that her winning margin on Election Day “leaves little hope for incumbent (District Attorney) Tony Scarpino" in what was expected to be a tight race.
“With tens of thousands of paper ballots yet to be counted and a week for additional ballots to arrive, the results are not expected to be finalized for several weeks,” she wrote in an email. "However, the strength of her winning margin on Election Day leaves little hope for incumbent Tony Scarpino, who was dogged in the closing weeks of the campaign for failing to act on allegations of police misconduct and systemic corruption in local law enforcement.”
As of Wednesday morning on June 24, the Westchester Board of Elections said Rocah has tallied 20,837 (68 percent) of votes, while Scarpino was at 9,668 (32 percent) votes with some still to be counted.
Upwards of 50,000 absentee ballots are still expected to be counted during the next week.
Rocha, 49, a former federal prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst, said that she was hesitant to declare victory, as people were still voting as of midnight amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but believes that given the current numbers she is confident that she was to unseat Scarpino.
“When I launched this campaign in December, none of us could have imagined this road to Election Day. Amidst the COVID pandemic and the movement to address police brutality and inequality, this election has taken even greater importance as we work to reform the Westchester District Attorney’s Office and make it more accountable,” she stated.
“I am proud of our campaign. Together with countless volunteers, we made it clear that we must do more at the local level to reform our criminal justice system, and make it stronger and fairer for everyone.
She added: “The damage Trump has done and continues to do, to the rule of law and the cause of justice is an affront to every American. While we must work to remove him from office in November, we must also work at the local level here in Westchester to restore people’s trust and faith in our justice system.”
In a brief statement of his own, Scarpino refused to back down, despite Rocha’s proclamation.
“There are still tens of thousands of absentees ballots outstanding and more coming in,” he emailed in a statement. “That process needs to run its course. The results of this election are still pending, and we look forward to seeing all the votes counted.”
Rocah said that “while tonight’s results are preliminary, and it is imperative that every vote is counted, our lead is extremely strong and the strength of our support so far makes it clear that we will win this primary.
“We look forward to focusing on and winning the election in November, and reforming criminal justice in our county,” she said. “It is now time for all Democrats to unify around our message of reforming our DA’s office and the criminal justice system to make it stronger and fairer for everyone.
“We will work with the BOE to finalize these results, and then we will move forward to carrying our message to all Westchester voters in the November election.”
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