Wallace edges Peacock for Ithaca city judge nomination; Teachout falls despite strong CNY showing

September 9, 2014 by Rachel Cera

Unofficial results from the Tompkins County Board of Elections show that Rick Wallace has narrowly defeated interim City Court Judge Seth Peacock for the Democratic nomination to stand in this November's general election. Wallace won with 745 votes to Peacock's 675, with Kristine Shaw trailing with 381 votes.

Rick Wallace and family. Photo provided.Rick Wallace and family. Photo provided.Seth Peacock, named as interim judge by Mayor Svante Myrick to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Judge Judith Rossiter in July, ran for the Democratic nomination against Shaw and Wallace, and for the Working Families Party nod against Wallace. In the smaller party primary, Peacock had 8 votes to Wallace's 6.

Judge Peacock's campaign came under fire recently with the release of letters and court records showing that, as an attorney in the court-appointed attorney program, he had been barred from certain judges' courtrooms for failure to appear or for being unprepared. A widely circulated letter of support from Judge Rossiter expresses the retired jurist's confidence in her interim successor, and suggests that attorneys involved in speaking against him are among those who failed to appear in her own courtroom during her tenure on the bench.

Judge Peacock, who had said he planned to run in the Democratic primary and then win the general election to retain his seat in Ithaca City Court, has not said whether he would run without the Democratic nomination. His interim term lasts through the end of the year.

In a statewide primary election, incumbent Andrew Cuomo held off a challenge for the Democratic party nomination from Zephyr Teachout and Randy Credico. Credico, a civil rights activist and political satirist, and Teachout, a constitutional law professor and community organizer, hoped to offer New York voters a more progressive alternative to the moderate Cuomo.

Cuomo spent the campaign season largely ignoring Teachout, the more active opponent, declining to debate her or spend much energy campaigning for this month's primary election. The incumbent won despite Teachout's strong performance in Tompkins County. She took more than 70% of the Democratic vote in this fairly progressive bastion of Central New York, with 3,266 votes to Cuomo's 1,274. Credico earned just 67 votes in Tompkins County.

In the lieutenant governor primary, which is elected separately, Teachout's running mate Timothy Wu took 3,034 votes to Cuomo running mate Kathy Hochul's 1,346 in Tompkins County.

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