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      Republican party chooses Katko to face Representative Maffei

      The Central New York Republican party held a nomination convention on Saturday at Eastwood's Palace Theater to pick who they want to run for the party in this November's elections.

      The Republican party chose to hold a nominating convention to try and avoid the primaries on June 24. The Republicans selected former federal prosecutor John Katko as their choice to run in the 24th Congressional District race. Katko will take on incumbent Representative Dan Maffei in the November elections.

      Onondaga County Republican party chairman Tom Dadey says Katko won by an overwhelming majority on the first round of votes on Saturday.

      Katko served as a assistant U.S. attorney in Syracuse for fifteen years. The Camillus resident is well-known for prosecuting street gang members in Syracuse.

      Jane Rossi withdrew from the race. Dadey says she has stated she will not seek a bid in the primary race. Dadey also said several other candidates have pledged not to run in the primary race.

      DeWitt Police Chief Gene Conway is the Republican endorsed candidate for the Onondaga County Sheriff's race. No word yet on whether any of the other candidates will seek a bid for the primary.

      Robert DeMarco, former Onondaga County assistant district attorney, is designated to run against Assemblyman Al Stirpe.

      Rick Zaccaria will run against Bill Magnarelli.

      No candidates were endorsed to run against Assemblyman Sam Roberts and New York State Senator Dave Valesky. Dadey is hopeful that some of the candidates who failed to secure the Congressional endorsement will look at filling one of these positions. They have until June to decide.

      There were one-thousand Republican committee members from the four-county district who were eligible to vote on Saturday. Dadey says the Palace Theater, which holds about 650, was full, and there were several absentee ballots.