CORTLAND, N.Y. — At the Cortland County Republican Committee headquarters Wednesday night, Patrick Perfetti and his wife, Carol, anxiously awaited the results in the race for district attorney.
Much to their dismay, the Cortland County Board of Elections was slow to post the results online, only providing initial vote totals until after 10 p.m.
"Trump won Ohio, but I can't find out if I won Cortland County," Perfetti said.
But by 11 p.m., the results were in: Perfetti received 9,018 votes (50.4%), while Mark Suben received 8,851 votes (49.4%).
Perfetti accredited his victory to his campaign manager, Bijoy Datta, who he says had strong experience in local elections and knew where to focus Perfetti's outreach efforts.
"Obviously, as an incumbent, and coming from the private sector, I was limited in terms of resources," he said. "He was very smart about how we applied those resources."
Once sworn into office, Perfetti said he plans to move forward with his proposed "angel program," which would allow drug users who turn in drugs or drug paraphernalia to get drug treatment, rather than face criminal prosecution.
"Right now, we can do [the angel program], but it's only under the specter of arrest," Perfetti said. "Somebody who's convicted of a criminal offense has a stigma that follows them. I think this is a better solution."
Perfetti replaces Mark Suben, who was first elected to the position in 2008. Perfetti had criticized Suben for denying his involvement in adult pornography films in the 1970s until after he won re-election in 2012.