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BREAKING: Michael Korchak Wins Broome County DA Race

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The long and hotly contested race for Broome County District Attorney ended on Tuesday with libertarian candidate Michael Korchak coming out ahead of republican Paul Battisti by 112 votes. That's after absentee, affidavit, and military ballots were counted at the Board of Elections. The actually margin of the victory could change, as there are 104 previously challenged ballots that will be counted and added to the total. 

The current Chief Assistant DA will be taking over the top seat on January 1st.

The confirmation came from Broome County Board of Elections commissioners after nine hours of counting absentee, affidavit, and military ballots. 

"We knew it was going to be a tight race," says Korchak, "It came down to absentees... and came down to the final absentees actually."

This was the second time Korchak sat through the absentee counting process. After the June GOP primary election, it was Paul Battisti who had the lead going into the absentee ballot counting. He held on to it, forcing Korchak off the republican line. Korchak stayed in the race as a Libertarian, making history as the first third party candidate to win a major county-wide seat.

"It's really a testament to the team that is behind me and all of the supporters who carried petitions in the snow," says Korchak. 

When the news was announced at the Board of Elections, Korchak was visibly emotional. He says being a prosecutor is all he ever wanted to do. 

"It's really my passion, it's what I want to be doing and like I said, I'm very humbled by this victory and I'm just very happy that I can continue to serve the people of Broome County."

Democratic candidate Debra Gelson was at the Board of Elections all day, watching the progress.

"I'm thrilled that Mr. Korchak won," said Gelson after the results were in, "Because if I wasn't going to win... it's imperative to have someone with experience. I personally have handled cases with Mr. Korchak and have the greatest respect for him."

Paul Battisti was not present, but his lawyers were. Battisti later released a statement, saying he is not conceding and wants the Board of Elections to hand count every single ballot cast in the election. That's around 43,000 ballots. 

There is a margin of 46 votes separating Mr. Korchak and me out of approximately 43,000 ballots cast in this race, according to the current unofficial count. That amounts to a gap of approximately one-tenth of one percent.
I am not conceding this race. Considering all of the changes to the election process, including but not limited to the first-ever opportunity for early voting and the first-ever use of electronic poll books at polling sites, I'm asking for the Broome County Board of Elections to conduct a full handcount and review of every ballot cast in this election to ensure and true and accurate result.
— Paul Battisti