CLYNE WINS DA RACE

CAROL DeMARE Staff writer
Section: MAIN,  Page: A1

Date: Thursday, November 16, 2000

Paul A. Clyne is Albany County's new district attorney after his opponent Paul DerOhannesian apparently conceded Wednesday. The concession by DerOhannesian came even though there are yet about 4,800 absentee and other paper ballots to be counted.


``He called me and congratulated me and wished me well,'' said the 40-year-old Clyne, of Delmar.


Clyne, a longtime assistant district attorney, waged a fierce battle against DerOhannesian, another veteran assistant prosecutor, for the seat vacated by Democrat Sol Greenberg on Sept. 19.


Clyne had the support of the Democratic Party leaders. DerOhannesian, 46, of Slingerlands and also a Democrat, ran on the Republican and Conservative lines. Despite the concession, Clyne declined to make a victory statement Wednesday, saying he would do so today when elections officials finish counting the remaining paper ballots from the city of Albany.


``When the Board of Elections completes its tally of votes today and makes a declaration, then I will,'' Clyne said of his victory speech.


DerOhannesian could not be reached for comment late Wednesday despite numerous phone calls to his home.


The total tally as of Tuesday stood at 60,634 for Clyne and 56,548 for DerOhannesian. DerOhannesian picked up more than 600 votes Wednesday, the third day absentee ballots were counted, but it didn't cut into Clyne's lead. Even with the new numbers, Clyne's margin remained at roughly more than 3,500 votes.


The campaign was sparked by the timing of Greenberg's retirement after more than 25 years in office. His decision to step down forced an election this year for a four-year term and did not allow for a primary, cutting out many potential candidates. Clyne was chosen as the Democratic nominee in a county where the Democratic enrollment is 2-1 over Republicans.


The job pays $131,400 annually.


In Albany, Clyne beat DerOhannesian on Election Day by more than 9,000 votes. DerOhannesian did well in Colonie, where he garnered 4,400 more votes than Clyne.


But there were more than 8,000 absentee ballots to be counted, along with about 4,000 so-called affidavit ballots. Those ballots were given voters at polling places when their names didn't appear in the registration books.


Ballots counted on Tuesday were from the towns of Bethlehem, New Scotland, Green Island and Coeymans and the cities of Cohoes and Watervliet. On Wednesday ballots from Colonie were counted, and after that Clyne said DerOhannesian called to concede.


The remaining paper votes that were to be counted today are from the city of Albany, a Clyne stronghold.