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Four Republicans win Supreme Court seats

Though one last election district and the absentee ballots for the Supreme Court Fourth District election have still not all been counted, the breakdown of 638,192 votes definitively shows the four Republican candidates winning the seats on the bench.

Jim Walsh, Rebecca Slezak, Michael Cuevas and Dianne Freestone, who all also ran on the Conservative line (Freestone also ran as a Libertarian), were well above the two Democratic candidates, Julie Garcia and Michael Violando, with 680 of the 681 election districts reporting Wednesday.

John Conklin, a public information officer at the state Board of Elections, said 11,221 absentee ballots were mailed out for the Fourth District and that by Wednesday afternoon 7,152 had been returned. Even if all these mailed ballots went to Garcia, who was the closer of the two Democrats, she would still be 1,135 shy of making it into the top four.

Walsh led with 86,763 votes. Freestone and Slezak followed closely behind with 83,772 votes and 83,772 votes, respectively. Cuevas earned 81,214 votes. Garcia gathered 68,858 votes, and Violando had 53,578.

Voters left 179,818 potential spots for votes on their ballots blank.

Garcia also ran for this position in 2015 in a group of four candidates competing for two seats.

Every single one of this year’s six candidates graduated from Albany Law School.

The Fourth District includes the counties of Franklin, Essex, Clinton, St. Lawrence, Hamilton, Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady. Justices are elected for 14-year terms and each earn a $208,000 salary annually.