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The Telegram
  • Heated Herkimer Co. DA’s race nears a close

  • It was the mostly hotly competitive race for district attorney that Herkimer County has seen in years.

    Both have made their campaign promises: Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter says he would be a “tough but fair prosecutor,” while his opponent, Mary Iocovozzi, will be “an aggressive and independent voice for justice,” she says.

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  • It was the mostly hotly competitive race for district attorney that Herkimer County has seen in years.
    Both have made their campaign promises: Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter says he would be a “tough but fair prosecutor,” while his opponent, Mary Iocovozzi, will be “an aggressive and independent voice for justice,” she says.
    But whoever is elected the next DA, the goal will be the same — to stand up for the victims of crime and their families and to strive for a safer community.
    Across Herkimer County Tuesday, voters came to and from polling places for a number of reasons, primarily to choose the country’s next president.
    But when it came to the Herkimer County District Attorney, voters’ choices for who deserved their vote ran the gamut from familiarity and experience to outright concern over their conduct.
    Dave Holleran, 55, was walking up the steps to vote at the Ilion Municipal Building when he said the 10 years Carpenter, a Republican, has spent in the office as an assistant prosecutor set him apart from Iocovozzi, a Democrat.
    “He’s had more experience than his competition, and that’s what we need instead of somebody who is going to just have on-the-job training,” Holleran said.
    The DA’s position has a salary of $140,300.
    Iocovozzi has said she has 30 years of legal experience in a variety of courtrooms, including years prosecuting juveniles as associate county attorney for Herkimer County.
    Carpenter, however, has noted Iocovozzi lacks the trial experience in front of an actual jury that is an important part of a prosecutor’s job.
    Nevertheless, Iocovozzi’s devotion to helping children and families through Family Court shows how much she cares about people, instead of being driven by political “greed,” D’Anne Paratore, 50, said after casting her vote for Iocovozzi at Frankfort-Schuyler Central School.
    Throughout campaign, both candidates have criticized each other for a number of reasons they believe diminishes their opponent’s fitness for the job: Carpenter has questioned Iocovozzi’s use of a baby’s homicide investigation for political gain, while Iocovozzi has attacked Carpenter for holding a second full-time job as a college professor while also working full-tine at the DA’s office.
    On Tuesday, Paratore said that was something that weighed heavily on her choice for DA.
    “How can he serve the people while working two different positions,” Paratore asked. “Where’s his attention? You cannot do two jobs 100 percent.”
    Although Rose Zennamo, 72, of Frankfort, also said she was voting for Iocovozzi, she still was disappointed both sides turned to underhanded attacks during their campaigns.
    “I didn’t like the bickering going back and forth,” Zennamo said. “That’s not good politics, when you’ve gotta be like that.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Tom Hyla, 59, however, said such mudslinging didn’t bother him, and he just chalked it up as “typical politics.” For this Frankfort voter, it was Carpenter’s experience that mattered most.
    “I believe in going with the experience, especially with the amount of time he’s had in there,” Hyla said.
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