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Soares handily defeats Cusick

Democrats also widened their control in Congress, picking up a handful of new seats.

With more than 70 percent of the vote in his favor, Soares spoke to supporters at Jillian's Restaurant in Albany, which was the local headquarters for now President-elect Barack Obama's campaign. It was a historic night as Democratic supporters were engaged in a boisterous celebration watching the national results roll in.

When key battleground states like Pennsylvania and Ohio went for Obama, the crowd exploded into cheers and revelry and Soares played to the crowd telling them they were witnessing history as the country elected its first black president. Soares is Albany County's first black district attorney.

He told supporters that "scare tactics" used by his opponent and the Republicans supporting him did not sway voters.

Cusick, who was watching the results at Albany's Hibernian Hall, blamed his substantial loss on the national Democratic fervor.

On Friday, Nov. 7, following the election, Soares released a letter to the executive director, James Lyman, and union president, Christian Mesley, of Council 82, the local police union that backed Cusick in the race. Soares alleges that the two made false accusations and "smear tactics" in the union's endorsement of his opponent.

"Jim Lyman and Christian Mesley have misled the public " and, unfortunately, some of their own members " with allegations that at best are disingenuous and at worst, outright untrue," Soares wrote. "It seems as though the leadership of Council 82 is more concerned with political sensationalism than upholding the rights and benefits of the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe."

Along with Council 82, which serves many of the local police departments, including Albany's, Cusick picked up the endorsement of two other large civil service unions, the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (ASFCME).

Soares said he is planning several technology-centered initiatives in the coming years to help engage the public's help in reporting and solving area crimes.

He also said his focus will remain on taking guns out of the hands of inner-city Albany youths and getting drunk drivers off the roadways throughout the county.""

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