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3 sitting judges score easy State Supreme Court wins Sconiers, Caruso, Dillon prevail

Three sitting judges were winners Tuesday in a five-way contest for three seats on the state's trial court.

State Supreme Court Justices Frank Caruso and Rose H. Sconiers and Erie County Family Court Judge James H. Dillon won convincingly in the Eighth Judicial District, which encompasses eight Western New York counties.

With 92 percent of the vote tallied, Caruso received 224,519 votes. Sconiers received 221,049 votes, while Dillon received 144,867.

Sconiers and Caruso were cross-endorsed by the Democratic and Republican parties. They also were endorsed by the Independence, Conservative and Working Families parties.

Dillon, the county's longest-serving Family Court judge, ran on the Democratic, Independence and Conservative lines.

Erie County Undersheriff Brian D. Doyle, who ran fourth, was on the Republican line. With all but 8 percent of the precincts tallied, Doyle received 92,494 votes.

Lynn A. Clarke, principal court attorney for State Supreme Court Justice John A. Michalek, finished fifth in her first run at judicial office on the Working Families line with 24,001 votes.

Sconiers secured a second 14-year term in a post that pays $136,700 a year. She was a Buffalo City Court judge from 1988 to 1993 and previously served as executive attorney in charge of the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo.

Caruso was appointed to a one-year interim term on the State Supreme Court 11 months ago by then-Gov. George E. Pataki. He previously served as a Town of Tonawanda justice.

In Erie County, which is home to nearly two-thirds of all voting precincts in the Eighth Judicial District, Sconiers, Caruso and Dillon were the decisive leaders.

Doyle, a son of the late State Supreme Court Justice Vincent E. Doyle Jr., was polling better in some outlying counties such as Orleans and Cattaraugus.

N In another judicial contest, Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk easily coasted to victory Tuesday in his bid for a full 10-year term on the bench.

With 90 percent of the vote tallied, Franczyk received 107,554 votes, compared with 48,920 votes for Molly Gondek Musarra and 8,9368 votes for James A.W. McLeod.

Franczyk was appointed by Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer to the county bench in May. Franczyk ran on the Democratic, Independence and Conservative lines.

Musarra, a deputy Erie County district attorney, ran on the Republican and Taxpayers First lines. McLeod, a Buffalo city judge and former defense attorney, ran on the Working Families line.

Judges in Erie County Court make $125,500 a year.

bmeyer@buffnews.com

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