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Tom Dougherty is new Livingston County Sheriff

Livingston County, N.Y. - Livingston County has a new sheriff for the first time in almost a quarter century.

Conservative candidate Undersheriff Jim Szczesniak conceded the race to Republican sheriffs office investigator Tom Dougherty.

A faulty memory card reader slowed the results of the race.

By 12:30 a.m. votes from all the districts had been counted and Tom Dougherty won with 51.6 percent of the votes and Szczesniak recieived 48.3 percent of the votes. 

More than 18,300 people voted in this race and in the end, 600 votes separated the two candidates. 

"I don't know what put us out ahead," Dougherty said after his win. "We had a huge voter turnout. I think the county really got involved in this race. This is an important position to our county and people showed that with the huge turnout and ultimately it came down to a couple hundred votes." 

Doughtery replaces Livingston County Sheriff John York after 24 years in office. York had endorsed Szczesniak during this campaign. 

"Clearly a I'm feeling disappointment," Szczesniak said. "It's been seven months of campaigning that has been very energized and my opponent ran a great campaign came out on top. So [the Sheriff's Office] will transition. This is has been very divisive and it's created some division in the Sheriff's Office. We need to mend those bridges and get public safety back to being the priority." 

Dougherty said there will "be room" for Szczesniak at the Sheriff's Office if he wanted to stay. However, Szczesniak believes his time with the office may be done. He explained that civil service rules would not allow him to go back to being a deputy. He says he will "move on" and consider other options. 

York will be retiring in February.  

Tuesdays vote was a rematch of a very close -- hotly contested primary race. 

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Washington Times