City Court candidate Traci DiMezza secured the Republican and the Conservative lines with solid primary victories Thursday night, defeating two other candidates.
DiMezza, 43, a private practice attorney, also has a third, independent party line called the Justice Party going into the November general election.
She defeated John Clo, 50, and Matthew Trainor, 42, in both primaries. Unofficial tallies had DiMezza capturing 471 Republican votes and 12 Conservative votes; Clo 360 Republican and six Conservative votes; and Trainor, 158 Republican and one Conservative vote. Despite their primary defeats, Clo and Trainor can also remain in the race with third-party lines in the general election: Truth and Honor for Clo and Law & Order for Trainor.
Forty-six Republican absentee ballots are outstanding, but they are not enough to tip the balance to Clo. There are no Democratic candidates in the race for the judgeship, which carries a 10-year term and pays $127,400 annually.
DiMezza, reached by telephone, was ecstatic about her win.
“I feel ... I am so happy. It shows that hard work pays off,” she said. “I am proud of the committee and happy that I ran a clean campaign. I am going to wake up tomorrow with no regrets.”
Trainor, who watched results come in at the Fulton County Board of Elections, said the primary loss is not the end of his campaign.
“This wasn’t the be all, end all. This isn’t a situation where the race is over at the primary,” he said.
Because he has a third-party line in the general election, he said the race remains “full on.” He said the turnout for the primary was low, with 989 unofficial votes out of 3,141 registered Republican voters in the city. There are 81 Conservatives in the city.
“It was a small population of the vast majority of registered voters,” Trainor said, adding that he suspects people are waiting for the general election to vote, knowing all three candidates will be in the race because of their independent lines.
Clo was not available for comment.
Karen Smith, chairwoman of the city Republican Committee, said DiMezza “is the party’s candidate and she will have the party’s full support” in the general election. Smith further said the candidates “conducted themselves professionally.”
Sue McNeil, chairwoman of the Fulton County Republican Party, was more forthright about DiMezza’s primary victories. In a phone call to DiMezza following the final tally of votes, McNeil called DiMezza “judge” in congratulating her.
Clo is the sitting City Court judge. A former city attorney, he was appointed to the bench in December by Mayor Dayton King, following Vincent DeSantis’ retirement. Judges are not allowed to have outside practices when on the bench.
Trainor also is a former city attorney, as well as a former Fulton County assistant district attorney. He is presently a private practice attorney.