There are a lot of reasons one candidate or another wins a given race. In the Supreme Court races, it was such abstract issues like placement on the ballot and how many lines on the ballot that played a part.
Obviously money helps. Advertising on television is huge. Geographic loyalties help and hurt. Ethnic loyalties matter. If you don't know anybody or what they are running for but like being Irish, that might make you like a McClusky.
And there is the taboo topic the Post Standard doesn't address but the male judge candidates all talk about. A female candidate, especially an attractive female candidate like Erin Gall, gets a lot of votes for just that. Give the woman candidate a break and by the way, did you see her walk that parade in Lowville in heels ? (the guy candidates privately lamented that fact)
Of the four candidates who won, I had met three of them. the fourth winner, Patrick McRae was unknown in Watertown and to the best of my knowledge never came here.
Lowville's Mike Young did pretty well in all six counties, when when you add all the totals came up a close fifth place, out of the money.
Even though those ads that tell you a candidate is "well qualified" are a little phony. Each candidate gets their home county bar association to say that, but nobody knows the criteria or what it means.
Each judge will be paid about $175K plus benefits for 14 years and they get to hire a friend as law clerk for six figures. What one judge won on November 8th is worth more annually than the money spent on all 15 members of the Jefferson County Legislature and our City Council combined.
In the end, most of us just voted for either party or for someone we knew or liked....Maybe we just thought their teenage daughters were charming talking about dad's nine oclock curfew.
We'll never know for sure what the motivators were, but congratulations to the winners. Enjoy you 14 years, and we'll see you again in 2025.
Court Notebook: Was it ballot placement, money or geography that led to Supreme Court race results? syracuse.com