The Republican primary for Broome County District Attorney on Tuesday pits Chief Assistant DA Mike Korchak against local attorney Paul Battisti.
Both men are seeking the GOP nomination in November’s election to replace Steve Cornwell who has chosen not to run for a second term.
NewsChannel 34’s Dylan Kuhn sits down with Battisti to see why he believes he should be the next DA.
Defense Attorney Paul Battisti was born and raised in Broome County.
He says the love he has for his home is why wants to be the next District Attorney.
Paul Battisti says “We need to bring Broome County back to what it once was. Broome County is beautiful, I love Broome County. I was born and raised, I’m, raising my children here. Broome County based on the most recent statistics has the second highest crime rate in the state. That most stop.”
Battisti has handled thousands of cases across the whole spectrum of law during his 14 years as an attorney and now runs his own private practice Battisti Law Offices.
He says there are many changes he hopes to make to the DA’s office if elected.
Paul Battisti says “Lenient plea bargains, teamwork approach, it must stop. Last year there were 16 jury trials out of the Broome County DA’s office, that’s got to stop. There’s 28 prosecutors, we need more aggressive prosecution, we need to prosecute the individuals that need to be prosecuted.”
Battisti says there’s a fractured relationship between the District Attorney’s Office and local law enforcement that needs to be mended before positive change can come about.
Paul Battisti says “I can’t tell you how many people say to me, because I go knocking on doors daily. Why is that law enforcement, so many members, the sheriff, elected officials, other individuals in law enforcement, why do they support you? It’s because these individuals have been in the community. They’ve worked along side other individuals in this race. They know who’s qualified, they know who’s not and that’s why they stand behind me.”
He says the biggest issue facing the area is the opioid crisis, and the only way to fix it is with better prevention and ways to aid those that are already addicted.
Paul Battisti says “Treatment programs, expanding the specialty courts. We need a mental health treatment court, we need more substance abuse programs. We need to insure that our diversion programs are appropriate. A 90 day drug treatment program and then dismissing charges doesn’t work and it’s not fair to addicts. We have to ensure the programs we’re giving are effective and work.”
Battisti says when voters cast their ballots he hopes they see he’s running for the right reasons.
Paul Battisti says “This job is not a position to pad my pension. It’s not a stepping stone. It’s not a pay raise. I’m doing this because I’m committed to Broome County, I love Broome County, I’ve given to Broome County my complete life. I want to continue to give to Broome County and I’m committed to making it the best and safest it can possibly be.”
In Binghamton, Dylan Kuhn, NewsChannel 34.
The primary takes place from noon until 9 next Tuesday.
To find your polling place, go to BroomeVotes.com