Niagara County voters will have a choice for county judge in the Nov. 7 election after all.
Andrew A. Ligammari squeaked out a one-vote victory in the Green Party primary Sept. 12, a Board of Elections recount showed this week. That enabled the Youngstown Democrat to deny appointed incumbent County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza a sweep of all primaries and a free ride to a 10-year term in November.
Sperrazza, a Wheatfield Republican appointed to the bench by Gov. George E. Pataki, still must be considered the favorite based on her seven ballot lines: Republican, Democratic, Independence, Conservative, Liberal, Right to Life and Working Families.
Sperrazza defeated Ligammari in the Democratic primary, 4,548-3,285. She won the Working Families line 5-3 in a paper-ballot primary whose result was tallied this week. She was unopposed for the other lines.
But Republican Election Commissioner Michael J. Norris said the Green Party primary, which appeared to have gone to Sperrazza 3-2 on primary night, was actually won 4-3 by Ligammari.
Norris said an extra Ligammari vote was discovered on a voting machine during a recanvass, and the only Green Party absentee voter in the county marked his ballot for Ligammari as well.
Thus, Ligammari, who took out an advertisement in a local newspaper this week urging his die-hard supporters to write his name in at the general election, will not have to use that stratagem. His name will be on the voting machine, on Row G.
Ligammari said Friday he hadn't decided if he will campaign actively. "That decision's not up to me," he said. "It'll be a consensus of a whole lot of people."
Finances might play a role. Sperrazza outspent him better than 2 to 1 in the primary campaign.