By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www. AllOTSEGO.com
Republicans romped across Otsego County on Election Day 2020, leading with the top of the ticket, President Donald Trump.
“We’re not even purple,” said a jubilant GOP County Chairman Vince Casale, as Peter Oberacker won the 51st Senate District and Assemblyman John Salka turned back Oneonta Democrat Dan Buttermann by a large margin in the 121st District. “Otsego County is red.”
Casale said the Republican victory margins in all key local races are too great to be overcome by the 6,000 absentee ballots that will be counted in the next 10 days.
Democratic County Chairman Clark Oliver texted that he was unable to talk about the evening.
But Richard Sternberg, Cooperstown, the Democratic state committeeman, said, “There’s still a strong feeling for the Republican Party here; that’s clear.”
In Otsego County, the only Democrat to gain support from a majority of the voters was freshman Congressman Antonio Delgado. Other than that, it was red, red, red, beginning at the top.
• Trump, who is expected to lose New York State overall, took Otsego County, 12,317 to 8,682 for Democrat Joe Biden. That’s 57.1 percent to Biden’s 40.28 percent.
• In the 51st Senate District, Oberacker, the county rep from Schenevus who will now succeed, tallied 12,708 for 61.13 percent of the total against Democrat Jim Barber’s 7,959 (38.29 percent). In the 51st District, it was 63,612 (57.08 percent) to Barber’s 41,929 (37.63 percent). Late in the evening, Barber called Oberacker to concede.
• In the 121st Assembly District, Salka, R-Brookfield, blunted Buttermann’s challenge. The county tally was 7,632 (56.79 percent) to 5,437 (40.46 percent). In the 121st District, Salka tallied 29,715 (61.10 percent) to 14,972 (30.79 percent).
Republicans won the three other in-county Assembly districts as well: incumbent Brian Miller topped Chad McEvoy in the 101st; incumbent Chris Tague beat Betsy Kraat, and it was former Norwich police chief Joe Angelino over Richard Shaw in the 122nd.
In the 19th, Democrat Delgado won Otsego County with 9,661 votes to Republican Kyle Van De Water’s 9,181. Across the 19th, Delgado won 141,751 to Van De Water’s 134,503.
Reached at his victory celebration, Oberacker acknowledged, “We did crack the champagne a bit. I won’t say it was premature: All the indications are there, so we decided to celebrate.”
What gave him the edge, he said, was “just taking to folks in a common sense manner. We’ve logged 11,000 miles in the 51st, and I’ve spoken to people of all social strata, from farmers to businessmen.”
Asked if he planned to take a little time off, he said, “No, we’re going to get to work.” He was scheduled to speak with a Form Tech client in Bangkok, Thailand, at 4 p.m., and planned to attend the county Board of Representatives monthly meeting at 10 a.m.
“After that,” he said, “we’re going to get down to the business of the 51st District.”
Salka could not immediately be reached for comment.
Casale, who was at Oberacker’s victory celebration, said, “I think the voters saw the value of having individuals who can go to Albany and fight for their values.”
In particular, Salka campaigned against the Democrats’ bail-reform law, introducing a bill to repeal it.
And Oberacker said that on Jan. 1, his first day in office, he will introduce companion legislation in the Senate.