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State Senate 60th District legal action back in the courts

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NYS Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman

By Mark Scott

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-937065.mp3

Buffalo, NY – The undecided election in the 60th State Senate District returns to the courts Monday. State Supreme Court Justice Frank Caruso will decide the fate of a few hundred paper ballots that were challenged in the past couple of weeks.

Republican candidate Mark Grisanti holds a 527-vote lead over incumbent Democrat Antoine Thompson. The outcome of this election, plus in two downstate Senate districts, will determine which party controls the Legislature's upper house.

It's uncertain if Thompson's legal team will ask the court to order a recount of all paper ballots. But if they do, New York's Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman has laid out a timetable so that any final rulings are issued by the end of the year.'

"We still believe we built in enough time to get whatever recounts are hearings at the trail courts (completed)," Lippman said. "It is our certain expectation that we would have decisions the week before the holiday."

Lippman made his comments on the Capitol Pressroom on WBFO. Unless the disputed elections make their way to the state's highest court, Lippman said jurisdiction for now rests with judges at the local level...

"We're not telling the judges what to decide -- to do a manually recount or not to do a manual recount," Lippman said.

Thompson's legal team left Buffalo for the holiday weekend. Attorney Martin Connor says no decisions have been made and that they'll reconvene this week to determine their next course of action.

The Buffalo News is citing sources who say Thompson is considering conceding the race as his legal costs continue to mount.