MASSENA - Democrat Cecily L. Morris was the victor Tuesday over Republican Andrew S. Moses in the race for Family Court judge.
Mrs. Morris, Massena, was the heavy favorite in her race, beating Mr. Moses, Canton, by an unofficial vote of 11,070 to 6,403.
She said she had three goals when she entered the race.
"One was to run a very positive campaign," she said. "I was going to work harder than anyone helping me. The third goal was that we woke up Wednesday morning, no matter what had happened that we wouldn't have done anything differently. That was our focus."
Mrs. Morris said she enjoyed the door-to-door campaign, particularly in Ogdensburg, where her family's roots are.
"People would say to me, 'I knew your grandfather or your dad or mom,'" she said. "I don't know how you get your message to people unless you bring it to them, particularly in a judge's race."
Mrs. Morris said she has made her career about children and families, and that the Family Court judge position allows her to use her more than 20 years as a lawyer specializing in family law to make decisions.
"Now I can take all of that experience and use it to protect kids and victims of domestic violence," she said. "I truly believe I can use that to make good decisions."
In addition to the Democratic line, Mrs. Morris ran as an independent and garnered the Conservative endorsement as a way to let voters know she wanted to represent the entire county.
Mrs. Morris is president of the county Bar Association. She is a member of the county's Domestic Violence Task Force, a past member of Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, and a past member of the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority.
She and her husband, Mark, have four children.
Speaking to supporters while flanked by her family at Democratic headquarters in Massena, Mrs. Morris thanked those who supported her during her campaign.
"Rene (Hart, Democratic chairman) leads a group of Massena Dems who I've known a long time. Some of them were young men when they started and I was just a kid," she said, thanking the veteran Democrats for their guidance. "I can't begin to tell you how much that means."
While final numbers weren't in yet, those that were displayed on a projector at the headquarters indicated Mrs. Morris had a sizable lead over Andrew Moses in the race when she making her victory speech.
"You guys are calling it a win, and I appreciate it. I've worked hard to make Massena proud," she said.
She thanked retired St. Lawrence County Judge Eugene Nicandri for inspiring her during her campaign.
"Judge (Eugene) Nicandri is a role model for anyone who wants a position in the county. I can't think of any better person I want to emulate on the bench," Mrs. Morris said.
Her family also played a large role in the win, she said.
"The most important people in anything we do in our lives are the people we call family," she said, applauding each one individually.
"My kids are my life, and I know I couldn't stand here without the support they have shown me," she said.
Mr. Hart, Massena's Democratic chairman, said Mrs. Morris was the right candidate for the job.
"Right from the get-go she had the fire in her belly. I really am proud of what she has done," he said.
So was Henry "Hank" Ford, chairman of the county's Conservative Party, which also threw their support behind Mrs. Morris.
"I've never worked with anyone that had the enthusiasm and the get up and go, go, go drive like Cecily Morris," he said, noting the party would continue to support candidates who "best support and work for St. Lawrence County residents."
County Republican Chairwoman Nancy K. Martin said she was disappointed that more voters did not recognize the attributes of Mr. Moses, an attorney for the county.
"We're glad the voters got out and we thank them for their support," Mrs. Martin said. "Our kudos go to the Moses family. They worked hard and are an example of family campaigning."