WATERLOO — It appears a three-way race for Seneca County district attorney will come down to absentee ballots for the top two vote-getters.

According to unofficial results from the county Board of Elections, Acting District Attorney Mark Sinkiewicz leads John Nabinger, the county’s assistant public defender, by 91 votes after Tuesday’s voting and early voting.

Sinkiewicz, who ran on the Democratic line, garnered 3,136 votes to 3,045 for Nabinger, who ran on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines. Chris Folk, who lost a close Republican primary to Nabinger but stayed in the race on three minor party lines, finished a distant third with 1,497 votes.

There appear to be at least 400 absentee votes to be counted. That will be done Nov. 18.

While Sinkiewicz said he was happy to have a lead at this point, he isn’t declaring victory.

“I think I will wait until the absentees are counted,” he said Tuesday night. “I’ve been told that much of a lead is hard to beat with absentees, but it could be a long journey until the 18th.”

“No question, I thought it would be a close election. That is not a surprise,” Nabinger said of his contest with Sinkiewicz. “The numbers are in Mark’s favor, but we will see.”

Folk, a former Waterloo town judge, previously said he was pressured by the county Republican leadership before and after the primary to drop out of the race. Nabinger said even though he never discussed the issue with Folk, his chances in the general election were hurt by Folk staying in the race.

“No question,” Nabinger said.

The special election for district attorney came after Barry Porsch, who was first elected DA in 2009 and re-elected in 2013 and 2017, was elected county judge last year. Sinkiewicz, who was first assistant DA during Porsch’s tenure, has been acting DA since the start of this year.

“When I set out to run for DA this year, I told everyone I was going to run on my record,” Sinkiewicz said. “I want people to have trust in me, and I think the results showed that.”

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