Conservative Republican Karl Brabenec, whose candidacy was nearly sabotaged by fellow Republican Dan Castricone’s decision to run on the United Monroe ballot line, has taken a 164-vote lead over Democrat Elisa Tutini in the Assembly District 98 campaign. Castricone agreed to shun all votes from the religious bloc community and ended up gaining over 25 percent of the overall ballots as a result, while Brabenec and Tutini reeled in over one third of the vote each.
The seat had long been held by Republican Annie Rabbitt, who left the position to become Orange County clerk in January 2014. It has been vacant the past year.
A NY Supreme Court judge will hear arguments over 379 ballots challenged by either side on December 3. Given the numbers at this time, Brabenec is the heavy favorite to win the vote, even though he trailed by 10 prior to the counting of absentee ballots.
Brabenec, the Town of Deerpark supervisor, can honestly boast of never raising taxes during his five year tenure. His opponent, Tutini, is a favorite of the Kiryas Joel bloc vote and is rumored to be the girlfriend of Monroe Councilman Dan Burke, also sponsored by the KJ bloc.