ALBANY - Acting District Attorney Meagan Galligan on January 1 will become the first female District Attorney in Sullivan County history after the Sullivan County Board of Elections late Friday certified the election results and challenger Frank LaBuda agreed not to pursue any legal challenges.
A stipulation between attorneys for Galligan and LaBuda that included Deputy County Attorney Thomas Cawley and filed Saturday with Albany County Supreme Court Judge Kimberly O'Connor - stated:
"The Board agrees to certify Meagan K. Galligan as the winner of the general election for Sullivan County District Attorney without the necessity of the Court ruling on any challenged or objected-to votes. The parties agree that such certification will be issued forthwith, and, upon such certification, Meagan K. Galligan herewith discontinues this proceeding, and Frank J. LaBuda herewith discontinues the proceeding instituted through his Cross Petition filed on November 12, 2020..."
The stipulation affirmed that LaBuda had a total of 13,295 votes and Galligan had 17,350, with approximately 449 additional votes set aside as challenged or objected to by either party. Approximately 2,780 ballots were left to canvass.
But because Galligan's lead was greater than the number of objected-to ballots and remaining ballots combined, the stipulations said that Galligan and LaBuda waived their respective right to present further challenges.
The certification came after canvassing the absentee, affidavit and other paper ballots of the Towns of Bethel, Callicoon, Cochecton, Delaware, Fallsburg, Forestburgh, Fremont, Highland, Liberty, Lumberland, and Mamakating.
Galligan, a registered Democrat who turns 40 in July, campaigned heavily with Republicans and was often escorted to meetings with potential voters by Sheriff Mike Schiff and Undersheriff Eric Chaboty. She was endorsed by the Sullivan County Republican Committee and also ran on the Conservative and Independence lines. Chaboty's wife, Tammi, heads the Independence Party in Sullivan.
LaBuda, a long-time Democrat, earlier this year switched parties to Republican and then defeated Galligan in the GOP primary held in June.
Galligan joined the DA's office in 2009 when she was hired by then-DA Steve Lungen. But after he retired, she worked under Jim Farrell, who was elected as County Court Judge last November after serving as DA for a decade. In 2016, Farrell promoted Galligan to chief assist district attorney.
LaBuda, the long-time County Court judge who had to retire in December 2019 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70, is expected to remain as Of Counsel at the law firm Sobo & Sobo.