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Rain celebrates victory in county District Attorney race

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By SEAN EWART and W.T. ECKERT

At the end of a long, deeply emotional campaign, newly elected county District Attorney Mary E. Rain said she is “Absolutely glad to have it over with.”

“What can you say about a victory? It’s wonderful,” Ms. Rain, a Republican who also ran on the Conservative and Independence party lines, said.

Two-term incumbent District Attorney Nicole M. Duve said it is too early to concede the election.

Ms. Rain, who campaigned on her more than 25 years experience as a police officer, public defender and prosecutor, won with 51.8 percent of the vote in unofficial results from the county Board of Elections.

The race against Mrs. Duve, who took home 48 percent of the vote, was marked by attacks on her record and Ms. Rain said her opponent didn’t appear interested in engaging with voters.

Ms. Rain said her “opponent’s aloofness” was what pushed her over the top in Tuesday’s election.

“I don’t think she was very active in the campaign as far as having the public join in with her,” Ms. Rain said. “I tried to include the public as much as I could with my campaign and it seemed that she just isolated herself from the public.”

Throughout the campaign, Ms. Rain colored Mrs. Duve’s time in office as ineffective, disorganized and incompetent and promised to fast-track felony prosecutions and improve cooperation between law enforcement agencies.

But Ms. Duve, seeking her third term in office, said she is still hopeful that the tide can turn in her favor.

Though she is behind by 695 votes, Ms. Duve noted the number of absentee ballots that have yet to be counted.

The county Board of Elections reported that 1,588 absentee ballots have been sent out and they have received 1,085 so far. They plan on opening them on Nov. 15.

“We have been up and down all night,” Ms. Duve said. “We’ll continue to be hopeful and keep fighting the good fight.”

Ms. Duve said it was too early to consider conceding and said that this was the sort of race that left her and her camp unsure as to what the turnout would be.

“I’m not surprised. We did all we could.” Ms. Duve said. “We’re just going to have to wait and see how it turns out.”

Ms. Duve’s husband and campaign manager, William J. Mitchell, said he was proud of the kind of campaign Ms. Duve ran and the work put into it.

“Our family worked hard at this campaign,” Mr. Mitchell said. “It’s disappointing. I guess we will just have to wait and see how the absentee ballots turn out.”

Celebrating the unofficial election results, however, Ms. Rain said that on day one of her time in office, “I’m going to gather up all the open, pending felonies and see where we are on those.” While she isn’t sure what her first major case will be Ms. Rain said she is hoping to get to work immediately on helping the family of Garrett J. Phillips, the 12-year old Potsdam boy who was murdered in 2011, find justice.

“I have four years ahead of me,” she said, “and that starts tomorrow. No time to rest.”

Ms. Rain said she plans on keeping some of the staff in Mrs. Duve’s office onboard “so that there’s some continuity in the office.” She added that she expects that continuity will help her hit the ground running on Jan. 1.

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