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Antonacci says death of his mentor a major factor in deciding to run for judge seat

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News (file photo)

A longtime Republican seat in the State Senate could soon be up for grabs. Bob Antonacci, who won the Syracuse-area seat last year after longtime Republican John DeFrancisco retired, is now running for State Supreme Court Judge in November's election.

Antonacci hadn’t been a member of the Senate for a full year when he accepted the party nomination to run for a judgeship opened by the death of Fifth Judicial District Administrative Judge James Tormey this summer. Antonacci said Tormey had been a mentor to him as a young attorney, and that was a major factor in his decision to run.

"With him passing away, that’s what got the ball rolling, and it wasn’t right away," said Antonacci. "The party had other options, and had other individuals to run, and it wasn’t until late July when they said, Hey, you’ve got to do this."

Antonacci is one of five candidates vying for three seats. If he wins one of them, Antonacci would resign his Senate seat, and there could be a special election early next year. If he loses, he stays in the Senate.

"Obviously it’s bittersweet. I’ve loved my time in the Senate, but this is a very important job as well, and it’s public service, just a different type of public service," he said.

Antonacci has been endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties. Also on the ballot for state Supreme Court Judge are Rory McMahon (D), Bernadette Romano Clark (D, R, C, I), Julie Cerio (D), and Joseph Lamendola (R, C, I).

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.