McGahay tops Supreme Court vote getters

Nov. 9—LAKE PLACID — Allison McGahay of Lake Placid made history on Election Day when she became the first female Adirondack resident to win a State Supreme Court seat in the 4th Judicial District.

There were three open seats on the Supreme Court and six candidates running, evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.

All three Republican candidates won, including McGahay, according to unofficial election results on Wednesday.


The vote totals were: McGahay (Republican), 180,297; Richard A. Kupferman (Republican), 152,176; Chris Obstarczyk (Republican), 144,315; Robert J. Muller (Democrat), 142,951; Vincent W. Versaci (Democrat), 141,185; and Teneka Frost (Democrat), 119,304.

The seats are 14 year terms. Muller was the only incumbent running.

McGahay, 50, will be the first Essex County resident on the State Supreme Court since 2008, when incumbent justice James Dawson of Elizabethtown lost his re-election bid to Muller.

The change then meant that Supreme Court chambers moved from the Essex County Courthouse in Elizabethtown to Warren County Courthouse in Queensbury, the town where Muller resides.


The holder of the court seat can choose where his or her chambers are located, and McGahay said Wednesday she'll ask the State Office of Court Administration to restore the chambers to Elizabethtown.

"I am grateful for the overwhelming amount of support we received from the voters of the 4th Judicial District," she said by email. "Last night's victory is a win for the North Country and Essex County residents."

She said bringing the chambers back to the Essex County Courthouse means greater local access to Supreme Court, a trial level court for civil cases in New York state.

"Essex County has been without a seated Supreme Court Justice since 2008," McGahay said. "It is important that citizens and attorneys have convenient access to our judicial system. I am proud to be the first woman in the Adirondacks to be elected Supreme Court justice in the 4th Judicial District and the voters have my gratitude. I am looking forward to serving in January 2023."


McGahay received a Bachelor of Arts in Public Justice from the State University of New York at Oswego and a juris doctorate from Albany Law School of Union University.

A native of St. Lawrence County, she has been an attorney for 17 years, 13 of them in Essex County. She served in the New York Attorney General's Office, as special counsel to the New York State Board of Elections, and as an Essex County assistant district attorney for four years.

For the past nine years, her private practice has focused on real-estate law, civil litigation, criminal law, land use and zoning, municipal law, and regulatory/permit matters before the Adirondack Park Agency.

McGahay lives in Lake Placid with her husband, William, and two children, Liam, 12, and Grace, 10.

The 4th Judicial District includes 11 counties, including Essex, Clinton and Franklin.


Twitter: @LohrMcKinstry