Nazarian wins GOP primary, likely next county court judge; full unofficial election results from around Oswego County

Schroeppel Justice Armen Nazarian, above, won the Republican Party nomination in Tuesday’s primary election for Oswego County Court Judge. He defeated Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes for the nod, and will likely be elected to a 10-year term in November as no other candidates filed petitions to run.

OSWEGO — Phoenix-based attorney Armen Nazarian will be the next Oswego County Court judge barring extraordinary unforeseen circumstances before Election Day in November.  

The Schroeppel Town Court judge convincingly defeated Oswego County District Attorney Greg Oakes in the Republican and Conservative party primaries Tuesday. Nazarian, who had the backing of the county Republican and Conservative committees, earned roughly 60 percent of the Republican primary vote, defeating Oakes by a total of 3,980 to 2,609, according to unofficial totals released by the Oswego County Board of Elections Tuesday night.  

Nazarian cruised to an unofficial victory in the Conservative Party primary as well, with nearly 74 percent of the electorate. Nazarian earned 167 Conservative Party votes compared to 60 for Oakes.

According to the Oswego County Board of Elections, 840 absentee ballots had been sent out and 469 were returned as of Tuesday night. Absentee ballots could, at least in theory, swing the Conservative primary but the more than 1,350 vote lead in the Republican primary would be insurmountable.

The Oswego County Court judge race was at the top of the ballot for all Oswego County Republican and Conservative voters and was the only contested countywide race this year despite county treasurer and clerk also being on the ballot in November.

There is no Democratic challenger in the county court race, and Tuesday’s primary results put Nazarian in the pole position with the only possible outside threat coming from a write-in candidate.

Reached after Tuesday’s results, Nazarian thanked all the voters who turned out to support him and the many people who contributed time, energy and money to his campaign in recent months, including his wife, who unexpectedly became a campaign manager.

“So many people chipped in to help us get out in the community, meet voters and build awareness,” Nazarian said, adding it was a “true honor” to run with the support of the county Republican and Conservative committees.

Nazarian, who previously said the Second Amendment became one of the most talked about issues on the campaign trail, noted Tuesday there is a community of gun owners in Oswego County who recognized the election could directly impact their Second Amendment rights. County court judges can be tapped as the local licensing authority for concealed carry, or pistol, permits.

“They’re relying on me to protect those rights and I won’t let them down,” Nazarian said of local gun owners.

Without a Democratic candidate, Nazarian is a near lock to serve a 10-year term as Oswego County Court judge. He said Tuesday over the next several months he’ll be preparing for the role in every way that he can, adding “you never step into a courtroom unprepared.”

“I owe that to the voters, I owe that to the attorneys, I owe that to the litigants,” Nazarian said about being prepared. “And that’s what I intend to do.”

Nazarian also acknowledge the hard work put in by Oakes and his campaign. As county court judge and district attorney, Oakes and Nazarian will often be in the same courtroom in the coming years. Nazarian said the two are both professionals and there would be no concerns about working together in the future.

A Shroeppel judge since 2013, Nazarian is a 1993 graduate of John C. Birdlebough High School in Phoenix and earned a business degree from SUNY Oswego before attending University at Buffalo Law School.

Nazarian is the second Shroeppel Town Court judge to make the move to Oswego County Court in as many years, following Judge Karen Brandt Brown who became the first female Oswego County Court judge after being elected in 2020.

Oakes, who has served as Oswego County District Attorney for 10 years, has more than two years remaining on his term as the county’s top prosecutor. He said Tuesday's results would not deter his commitment to doing the right thing, adding if anything the race and its outcome has strengthened his resolve. 

“While I’m disappointed by tonight’s outcome, I appreciate the support I received,” Oakes told the Pall-Times after results were in, expressing gratitude for those who came out and voted and supported his campaign. “I will continue to fight for justice in my role as district attorney, seeking to make our community safe for everyone.”

Republicans occupy 23 of the 25 seats on the Oswego County Legislature and each of the countywide elected offices. Because Republicans dominate local politics, the results of Tuesday’s primary elections have an oversized impact on Election Day in November. In some cases, such as the county court race, Republican primaries serve as de facto elections in races without Democratic challengers.

Nearly two dozen Republican and Conservative primaries concluded Tuesday with county court judge the only countywide office contested this year.

Democrats have more challengers slated for the November election than any time in recent memory, but Republican Primary winners are likely to see significant success later this in a county in which Republican voters outnumber Democrats nearly two to one. There were no Democratic primaries in Oswego County this year.

Unofficial election results from around Oswego County

The following information was provided by the Oswego County Board of Elections and reflects unofficial primary election results as of 11:15 p.m.

Republican Party primaries

County Court Judge (countywide)

Armen J Nazarian: 3,980

Gregory Oakes: 2,609

County Legislator District Two (parts of Orwell, Albion, Williamstown and Richland)

Herbert G Yerdon: 282

Carl E Anson Jr.: 191

County Legislator District Seven (part of town of Mexico)

Frank C Bombardo: 216

Amanda Magro: 197

Albion Town Council

Michael J Ford: 77

Corey W Holcomb: 89

Richard D Corlis Sr: 65

Steve Steinfeld: 95

Albion Superintendent of Highways

Ted W Bennett: 104

Mark A Hier: 69

Constantia Town Council

Michael A Donegan II: 62

Thomas J Moran: 140

Ronald A Chapman, Jr: 223

Granby Town Justice

Tracy Doyle: 199

Lori Lee Blackburn: 112

Hannibal Town Justice

Eugene Hafner: 196

Jack S Beckwith, Jr: 234

Elizabeth A Ritchie: 116

Hastings Town Supervisor

Tony Bush: 446

Mike Clark: 350

Hastings Town Council

Al Hanson: 383

Ed Foster: 368

Mark Martino: 383

John Donohue: 370

Minetto Town Supervisor

Nickolas A Spilman: 69

John L Familo: 71

New Haven Town Supervisor

Frederick F Wilbur: 99

Dan Barney: 153

Parish Town Supervisor

James J Bernys: 166

Mary Ann Phillips: 144

Parish Town Clerk

Mercedes Marie Seeber: 153

Kelly I Reader: 160

Parish Town Council

Douglas C Houghton: 189

Robin A.E. Novak: 183

John T Horning: 163

Parish Superintendent of Highways

George Horning: 157

Craig I Petit: 153

Richland Town Council

Donna Gilson: 113

Sue E Haynes: 236

Robert North: 282

Schroeppel Receiver of Taxes

Lynett M Greco: 139

Ryan Wood: 201

Scriba Town Supervisor

James Oldenburg: 322

Kelly M Lagoe: 218

Scriba Town Clerk

Rebecca Lavery: 404

Gina Gambino Fatiga: 133

West Monroe Town Justice

Colleen A Sullivan: 142

Paul D Vollmer: 68

Fulton City Councilor Ward Four

James R Myers: 40

Ethan Parkhurst: 56

Conservative Party primaries

County Court Judge (countywide):

Armen J Nazarian: 167

Gregory Oakes: 60

Granby Town Justice

Tracy Doyle: 4

Lori Lee Blackburn: 6

Hannibal Town Justice    

Eugene Hafner: 14

Jack S Beckwith, Jr: 17

Elizabeth A Ritchie: 25

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