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Democrat Nicole Duvé, left, and Republican Mary Rain. Photos: David Sommerstein
Democrat Nicole Duvé, left, and Republican Mary Rain. Photos: David Sommerstein

Rain apparent winner in St. Lawrence county DA race

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Republican challenger Mary Rain appears to have unseated two-term Democratic district attorney Nicole Duvé in St. Lawrence County. According to unofficial results, Rain won 9,808 votes, or 51.8%, to Duvé's 9,113 votes, or 48.1%.

But Duvé says there are enough absentee ballots to change the final result. Duve did not concede victory Tuesday night.

We'll have updates on this story and a complete report later in the evening.

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Reported by

David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

From the very beginning, Republican Mary Rain came out swinging against two-term DA Nicole Duvé. She called her and her office “disorganized” and “incompetent”. She said Duvé was allowing criminals to escape justice.

Speaking from her headquarters in Ogdensburg last night, Rain says her aggressive campaign style matches what voters want in a district attorney.

I think they want a prosecutor who is aggressive, and that’s the way I prosecute cases. It just means that I get in there, I get in there early, I get working on it at the soonest possible time, and work it all the way through, and that’s what I did with this race.

But Rain will have to wait before she’ll officially become St. Lawrence County’s lead prosecutor. At Sergi’s in Potsdam last night, Nicole Duvé said she was not ready to concede.

I know that there are more absentee ballots out there than separate the two of us, so I’m going to wait and see how that turns out and we’ll go from there.

County Board of Elections staff wasn’t available last night to say exactly how many absentee ballots there are. The two candidates put the number anywhere between 1,000 and 1,500. Duvé would have to win more than two-thirds of them to claim victory. That’s mathematically possible, but unlikely given the 52 to 48% result in the race.

Duvé ran a very low-key campaign, with few public appearances. She says she didn’t have time. Duvé says she’s been down two or three assistant attorneys since May and she had to keep working.

There’s an enormous workload in the office, and my responsibility has to be, first and foremost, to make sure that the office needs are met.

There may have been another factor in last night’s results – the death of 12 year-old Garrett Phillips. Signs with Phillips’ face that read “Justice For Garrett” have been all over the Potsdam area for almost two years.

Rain’s campaign had nothing to do with putting up those signs – the family did - but they’ve served as a reminder to county residents of the unsolved murder of a child.

And Phillips’ mother, Tandy Cyrus, joined Rain at campaign appearances and spoke out against Duvé.

Rain says her first job as DA will be to go over that case and others.

Top priority is to review all the felonies – the most serious first – and down to the least serious. Get them in order. Get them organized. Hopefully, there will be some continuity in the office, with some of the assistants staying on.

If last night’s results hold, Rain will inherit more than 8,000 pending cases and an austere budget that makes it difficult to retain assistant attorneys and other staff.

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