In a race that has been dubbed as “too close to call,” incumbent Michael Griffin and challenger Joseph Capasso will have to wait until Tuesday evening to find out which candidate will take Patterson’s GOP primary race.
The closest contest in Putnam County’s primary election, the two town supervisor candidates are within three votes of each other. Griffin currently leads with 347 votes, while Capasso trails by just three votes at 344.
Putnam County’s Board of Elections will determine this year’s primary winner, as it will be counting absentee ballots on Tuesday evening. With 37 votes unaccounted for, only one candidate will benefit from the tallying of the ballots.
In an official statement released the night of the primary elections, Capasso, who will see the end of his first term as a Patterson councilman this December, said he was “confident of victory,” especially because of his “grassroots” campaign to garner absentee votes. The one-term Patterson Board member will need to win the GOP line in order to force a November election.
“This was not simply an election—it was an underdog movement by the people,” Capasso said. “This election was going to be close because we were fighting to reverse years of corruption and patronage.”
If Griffin, who also has endorsements from the Conservative and Independence parties, wins the Republican primary, he will be the de facto winner and retain his position. The seven-term Patterson town supervisor said regardless of Tuesday night’s count, he feels confident whether or not the vote goes to the general election in November.
“I still have the Independence and Conservative lines,” Griffin said. “I’ve received a lot of phone calls and a lot support from different areas in town other than Republicans that are very anxious to get involved and help out if it doesn’t work out.”
Griffin said the small minority of Republican voters that participated in Tuesday’s primary is not enough to test the pulse of the electorate, and sees the mixed pot of voters still slated to cast their vote as an opportunity to take the November election if necessary.
“When you take the miniscule amount of Republicans in the town that came out to vote, I would hardly consider this a good sampling of sentiment because it’s a very narrow group of people,” Griffin said. “There’s a lot of voter apathy that has to be overcome and there’s a lot of Democrats, a lot of Conservatives, a lot of Independence and a lot of blanks that opinions have not been heard yet.