Following Close Norwich City Judge Primary, Rift Grows Between Republicans
Published: October 13th, 2017
By: Tyler Murphy

NORWICH – By a difference of 9 ballots Michael J. Genute was declared the winner of the Republican primary for Norwich City judge a week after the vote, defeating his opponent, Steven G. Natoli.

Out of the 609 voters casting ballots in the primary, that approximate 1.5 percent margin of victory will ensure Genute's name will appear next to the Republican Party line on the general election ballot.

However, 30 days after the Sept. 12 primary, Genute has yet to be officially endorsed by the Chenango Republican Committee, and that pending issue is increasing tension between party officials and the candidate.

“I can't recall a situation were they haven't endorsed a Republican candidate who won the primary,” said Genute on Thursday, “It is very odd they haven't endorsed me yet.”

Republican County Chairman Tom Morrone said the close local election caused a split between many Republican voters and officials.

Speaking on behalf of the committee, Morrone explained that though Genute won the primary, members of the committee are not automatically obligated to support him. That will be decided at a party meeting by committee members later next week. The meeting is open to party members, but how Republican leaders decide to vote is not revealed. Morrone decline to comment on how he might vote.

Genute said he was not contacted by the committee after winning the vote, and a couple weeks after the primary he reached out to the committee to ask about receiving their support and endorsement.

The Republican committee scheduled a meeting for the first week of October, but more than half of the sitting committee members failed to show up, meaning a vote over supporting Genute could not take place.

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