The heated race for the District Attorney's office in one Upstate New York county is coming down to the wire. The two candidates in the race for Herkimer County District Attorney have drastically different views on how the office should operate in the future. Our Andrew Sorensen explains what possibilities lie ahead for the county's criminal justice system after election day.
HERKIMER, N.Y. -- In Herkimer County, voters are deciding between two futures for criminal justice.
The first is one of continuity with Jeff Carpenter, a 20 year lawyer and ADA for the last 10 years.
“And the acting District Attorney since January of this year, so I'm fully familiar with all the pending investigations and cases," he added.
He says he'll be fair, but tough.
The second future is one of change, with 30 year lawyer and former juvenile prosecutor Mary Iocovozzi.
"We really need some enhanced programs and improvements to the District Attorney's office," she said.
Essentially this race boils down to two very different philosophies of how to get criminals off the streets and what to do with them after that.
Iocovozzi's platform promises to be hard on domestic violence, child abuse and drug abuse, all of which she says should be fixed with a fresh look at poverty.
"I think that I can make a positive difference as a District Attorney, because I know the community, I know the issues and I know where improvements need to be made," she said.
She also wants the office to be more open to the public with an open door policy and a new web page to get out information.
Carpenter, however, is harsh on her record.
"I can't imagine the voters and citizens of Herkimer County would be better served by a District Attorney who, when she picks her first jury trial as the District Attorney, it is in fact her first jury trial," Carpenter said.
He says he would best serve the county with the trust he's already built between other attorneys and law enforcement.
As neither candidate has the election locked up yet, voters will have to decide which future they prefer at the ballot box.