Skip to Content

Republican candidates for Broome County DA make final pitch before primary election

JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — The Republican candidates in the race for Broome County District Attorney made their final pitches to voters ahead of Tuesday’s primary election.

After months of campaigning, defense attorney Paul Battisti and Assistant Chief District Attorney Michael Korchak are prepared for a heated battle at the polls.

“We have put a lot of time, effort and energy into this. We are very excited,” said Battisti.

“This is a very important race. This is going to really shape the history of law enforcement in Broome County,” said Korchak. “I’m feeling very good. We have a lot of support out there.”

“We have put a lot of time, effort and energy into this. We are very excited,” said Battisti.

Throughout the campaign, both candidates spread different messages.

For Korchak, it is about the experience factor and what he claims is a lack of experience from his opponent when it comes to prosecuting cases.

“Do they want myself, a prosecutor of 21 years who has worked with law enforcement on a daily basis prosecuting violent criminals in Broome County or someone really who is a politician and has never stepped foot in a DA’s office and never prosecuted a case? I think the choice is clear,” said Korchak.

For Battisti, it’s a message of change and stricter plea deals in court.

“The role of District Attorney is about being able to work with individuals, being in the community, understanding families, understanding what works and what doesn’t work. Implementing a leadership approach and leading by example. We’ve got to do more. The community expects more and demands more and I am committed to doing that,” said Battisti.

Both candidates laid out their plans to work with local law enforcement.

Battisti was endorsed by the New York State Union of Police Association and Broome County Sheriff, David Harder, while Korchak received endorsement from several retired New York State Troopers.

“I have tremendous amount of support from law enforcement. I am committed to do everything I can, working with community partners to ensure safety is our number one priority,” said Battisti.

“I’ve worked for 21 years side by side with law enforcement to make sure we get justice for victims in violent felony cases,” said Korchak.

Both men say if elected, they will focus on ending the local opioid epidemic.

“Overdoes deaths have decreased very year since myself and Mr. Cornwell took office and we hope to continue that in the future,” said Korchak.

“No more lenient plea deals. Ensuring services are available for individuals and ensuring the programs that help individuals battling addiction are properly staffed,” said Battisti.

With the campaigns wrapping up, now their fate is determined by county voters.

“I request that everyone come out and make an informed decision,” said Korchak.

“You have a voice, your voice is your vote. Utilize it, Get out be knowledgeable and you can be the change we need in Broome County to make sure it’s the safest and best community it could possibly be,” said Battisti.

12 News also reached out to Democratic candidate Debra Gelson, who is running unopposed and is preparing for the general election in November.

Gelson gave 12 News the following statement:

“Voters should keep me in mind beyond the Republican primary because I am the most qualified candidate for District Attorney with over 35 years of legal experience. I have the expertise needed to implement the reforms mandated by New York State coming in January of 2020.”

Primary voting takes place Tuesday, June 25 from noon until 9 p.m. at various locations.

For a list of polling sites, click here.

Tyler Brown

Skip to content