After earning 48.4% of the vote at the Westchester County Democratic Convention in January, Mimi Rocah, the 16-year federal prosecutor, dominated incumbent District Attorney Anthony Scarpino in a Democratic Primary victory, Tuesday, earning 68% of the vote.
With tens of thousands of mail-in paper ballots yet to be counted and a week for additional ballots to arrive, the results are not expected to be finalized for several weeks. However, the strength of her winning margin in Tuesday’s primary election leaves little hope for incumbent Tony Scarpino, who was dogged in the closing weeks of the campaign for failing to act on allegations of police misconduct and systemic corruption in local law enforcement.
Sitting there until a little after 1 am, Wednesday morning, with ten people still waiting to vote in Mamaroneck, Rocah was leading 20,837 to 9,668. There wasn’t one district that the incumbent won. These are of course unofficial results and due to having to navigate through the uncharted water of a pandemic, again the official numbers won’t be in for at least ten days and possibly more than two weeks from now.
But according to the unofficial primary election day and early voting numbers, the mail-in ballot would have to tell a much different story for Scarpino to recover from the severe shellacking he took in Tuesday Primary unofficial tally of the votes.
Black Westchester caught up to Rocah, who we endorsed, via zoom in her Larchmont office.
“First off, I want to say that I am reluctant to put out a statement when for all intents and purposes, the election is not yet over as people were still voting as of midnight. But I am doing so given the lateness of the hour and the results we do have in hand,” Rocah shared with Black Westchester.
“When I launched this campaign in December, none of us could have imagined this road to Election Day. Amidst the COVID pandemic and the movement to address police brutality and inequality, this election has taken even greater importance as we work to reform the Westchester District Attorney’s Office and make it more accountable. I am proud of our campaign. Together with countless volunteers, we made it clear that we must do more at the local level to reform our criminal justice system, and make it stronger and fairer for everyone. The damage Trump has done and continues to do, to the rule of law and the cause of justice is an affront to every American. While we must work to remove him from office in November, we must also work at the local level here in Westchester to restore people’s trust and faith in our justice system.
The Westchester Board of Elections informs that election results are the unofficial tally of election results prepared in accordance with Section 9-126 of the New York State Election Law. Due to multiple transcriptions of voting machine numbers involved in preparing the unofficial tally, all results are subject to error. Furthermore, in accordance with Section 8-142 of the New York State Election Law, some of the absentee votes may not be available for inclusion in the unofficial tally.
On their website, the BOE states, that on election night, one or more election districts may not report their results. In addition, some reports may include errors that cannot be resolved election night. Official election results will be compiled and made available by the Westchester County Board of Elections in accordance with Section 9-214 of the New York State Election Law no later than twenty-five (25) days after the election.
“While tonight’s results are preliminary, and it is imperative that every vote is counted, our lead is extremely strong and the strength of our support so far makes it clear that we will win this primary,” Rocah shared with Black Westchester, “We look forward to focusing on and winning the election in November and reforming criminal justice in our county. It is now time for all Democrats to unify around our message of reforming our DA’s office and the criminal justice system to make it stronger and fairer for everyone. We will work with the BOE to finalize these results, and then we will move forward to carrying our message to all Westchester voters in the November election!”
District Attorney Anthony Scarpino is far from being ready to throw in the towel just yet, waiting on the results of the tens of thousands mail-in ballots.
“There are still tens of thousands of absentee ballots outstanding and more coming in,” Scarpino said in a statement, Wednesday morning. “That process needs ro run its course. The results of this election are still pending, and we look forward to seeing all the votes counted.”
While it may be too early to call the race again due to the irregular circumstances of being in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, unless all of District Attorney Scarpino’s supporters choose to mail in their ballots instead of voting at the polls, we are confident that this is an early sign of what the final results will be. But we will hold our congratulations until the hard-working individuals of the Board of Election complete their task.
That being said there were a number of things that could have been done better. BW hopes the Board of Election uses the events of this primary to put a plan in place to make sure that the problems we just experienced won’t happen in November in the General Election.
Stay tuned to Black Westchester Magazine as we cover this very important District Attorney race until all the votes are counted and there is officially confirmed winner.