The race for Seneca County District Attorney is heating up.
While no face-to-face action has been seen for an upcoming primary; compared to Ontario County, where both Republican candidates squared off in a debate — a series of mailers have left voters with more questions than answers.
Fayette Supervisor Cindy Lorenzetti, a Democrat, who hoped to remain silent through this process — has now become vocal — after one of those mailers targeted her own community, where Joe Sapio served as Town Judge.
“He served our community well,” she said of the circumstances. A mailer sent out late-in-the-week, which described the circumstances by which Sapio was elected, and took over, the judgeship.
As the story from 2011 pointed out, after being elected, Sapio sought to have his fiancee, Jennifer Salone fill the role of court clerk. At the time, there was an individual already holding the position.
Contrary to the story presented in the Finger Lakes Times story in 2011, Supervisor Lorenzetti said that the circumstances were resolved without issue. “Everyone involved was happy at the end, and while there were some challenges at first — the Town of Fayette didn’t have any issue with the result.”
She continued, “He served our community really well, and it’s been troubling to see things play out in this race as they have.” Lorenzetti continued, pointing out that the tone of the race has been a challenge, and for voters it could make for confusion and tension moving forward.
A mailer that went out earlier this week to Republican voters painting Sapio as a candidate desperate for any political support. The mailer quoted multiple news clippings from the Finger Lakes Times, and pointed to Sapio as being a Republican, interested in also obtaining support from Democrats. The letter was from Republican Party Chairperson Lee Davidson, who serves on the Seneca County Board of Supervisors.
In an appearance on the Inside the FLX podcast, Sapio confirmed this notion, and said that he was a unifier, despite the messaging from his opponent. He was not officially endorsed by the Democratic Party, but Sapio says he has built his campaign around the concept of supporting everyone — and bringing everyone in under one roof.
The same day as the Davidson mailer was sent out to Republicans, Democrats received a mailer from the Porsch campaign — outlining the method for Democratic voters to ‘write-in’ his name. The two mailings send very different messages to voters, and while it has ignited supporters of both candidates — it sends a confusing message to those who fall in the middle.
One independent voter, wishing not to be identified, said that his feelings on the race were deteriorating by the day. “I felt good about this race, and it seemed a couple months ago that our current District Attorney, as well as the former judge were going to make Seneca County proud,” he explained. “Now that doesn’t appear to be the case, as all of this mail has shown.”
This voter, who has the unique position of having a Republican, Democrat and Independence voter living at the same address — says he has “seen it all.”
Responding to those mailers, the Sapio campaign characterized them as ‘lies’, and said that “Not once are issues ever addressed.” His statement continued, “I have always been by the people and for the people. Two politicians attempting to play two parties against one another, perpetrating and perpetuating the exact thing that is wrong with the District Attorney’s Office.”
“The people deserve more than to hear how you stand on your platform of eight years by getting rid of the D.A. vehicle,” Sapio continued, taking a shot at one of the achievements Porsch celebrated throughout the campaign process.
“The newspaper ads and letters to the voters of Seneca County by my opponent are simply not true,” concluded Sapio. “Shame on [the District Attorney] for using his office to tell untruths and to spread lies and rhetoric that manipulates the community,” Sapio concluded.
FingerLakes1.com will continue to provide the latest coverage from this heated contest from both candidates in the coming days, leading up to primary day.