Retired County Court Judge Frank LaBuda - who switched parties from Democrat to Republican earlier this year and who did not have the endorsement of the Sullivan County Republican Party Committee - has defeated Acting District Attorney Meagan Galligan in the Republican Party primary for District Attorney after an absentee ballot count. Early reports reveal that LaBuda won by some 160 votes.
The pair face off in November since Galligan ran on both the Republican and Democratic line. Jerry Goldfeder, the election law attorney for LaBuda, praised the Sullivan County Board of Elections for its "smooth, professional process" during the absentee ballot count. LaBuda held a 47-vote lead after the June 23 primary and then filed a motion with the State Supreme Court to ensure the integrity of the ballot count.
If Galligan had prevailed in the absentee ballot count, LaBuda could have contested it on July 9 before Acting State Supreme Court Justice Denise Hartman, who signed an order late Wednesday that mandated strict protocols for the counting of all ballots. It is now expected that LaBuda will withdraw the suit if Galligan does not challenge the results. Thus far, no statement has been issued from Galligan's camp.
The win by LaBuda is significant in that Galligan - a registered Democrat - enjoyed full support from the Republican Party leadership and campaigned heavily with Sheriff Michael Schiff and her former boss, Jim Farrell, the former DA who was elected last November as County Judge.
In a statement issued at 6:30 pm, LaBuda said: "I believe that face to face debate, full public examination of my accomplishments and experiences, and my desire for transparency will reveal how I will work tireless for all of the people of our County."
Below is the full statement. from LaBuda.