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Soares handily defeats Cusick

After a contentious campaign against a former opponent, Albany County District Attorney David Soares scored a big win on a big night in Albany and was overwhelmingly re-elected to another four-year term.

Challenger Republican Roger Cusick ran on the Integrity line against the Democrat and netted several big endorsements by the local service unions but ultimately lost the race by 29,128 votes to 80,441 votes.

Soares appeared to be running unopposed during the summer, but Republicans mounted an aggressive campaign against him and created the Integrity Party to challenge him late in the political season.

Cusick used critical audits by Democratic Albany County Comptroller Michael Conners as fodder to accuse Soares of mishandling public funds in the weeks leading up to Tuesday's election.

In the opponents' only public debate at Albany Law School in October, Cusick repeatedly referred to Conners' audits and made the case that Soares was abusing his public position by using poor financial controls.

Cusick called Soares a headline chaser and said the district attorney was using his office to push a personal political agenda and philosophy instead of prosecuting criminals. He also argued that with Albany County being the seat of state government, an opposing political party should being sitting in the prosecution's chair to serve as a watchdog and a check and balance.

"We need a prosecutor in this county, not traveling all over the country," Cusick said at the debate, referring to Soares' high-profile work in a steroids case in Florida and frequent visits to other municipalities around the nation and Canada. "Who's doing the prosecuting? Someone's got to be back in the office prosecuting cases. Mr. Soares has developed a reputation of seeking headlines over safety."

In the end, the attack wasn't enough to upset the first-term incumbent on a night when Democrats swept the nation and the state as voters woke up after Election Day to find the first Democratic New York Senate since the 1960s and a new Democratic president.

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