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New York state election, 1972


New York state election, 1972


Judges John F. Scileppi, Francis Bergan, and James Gibson would reach the constitutional age limit of 70 years at the end of the year.

The 1972 New York state election was held on November 7, 1972, to elect three judges of the New York Court of Appeals, as well as all members of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. Despite efforts by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and others, no woman was designated by any party for the Court of Appeals. Family Judge Nanette Dembitz was fourth placed in the vote of the Democratic State Committee, and challenged the party designees.


Democratic primary

The Democratic State Committee met on April 3, and designated Appellate Justices Lawrence H. Cooke and M. Henry Martuscello; and Supreme Court Justice Bernard S. Meyer for the Court of Appeals.[1] On April 14, Family Court Judge Nanette Dembitz announced her challenge to the designees,.[2] and a primary was held on June 20.[3]

1972 Democratic primary results
Office Party designees Challengers
Judge of the Court of Appeals Bernard S. Meyer 240,045
Lawrence H. Cooke 210,233
M. Henry Martuscello 182,494 Nanette Dembitz 244,461

Other parties

The Republican State Committee met on April 3 at Albany, New York, and designated Appellate Justice Dominick L. Gabrielli, Supreme Court Justice Sol Wachler and lawyer Hugh R. Jones, President of the New York State Bar Association, for the Court of Appeals.[4]

The Liberal State Committee met on April 3, and designated Democrats M. Henry Martuscello and Bernard S. Meyer; and Republican Sol Wachtler for the Court of Appeals.[5] Martuscello lost the Democratic nomination in the primary, and ran on the Liberal ticket only.

The Conservative State Committee met on April 4, and designated Republicans Dominick L. Gabrielli and Hugh R. Jones, and Democrat Lawrence H. Cooke for the Court of Appeals.[6]

The designees of the Republican, Liberal and Conservative parties were not challenged in primaries.


The whole Republican ticket was elected.

1972 state election result
Ticket / Office Judge of the Court of Appeals Judge of the Court of Appeals Judge of the Court of Appeals
Republican Domenick L. Gabrielli 3,313,522 Sol Wachtler 3,196,763 Hugh R. Jones 3,170,136
Democratic Bernard S. Meyer 2,981,770 Lawrence H. Cooke 3,035,020 Nanette Dembitz[7] 2,787,443
Conservative Domenick L. Gabrielli Lawrence H. Cooke Hugh R. Jones
Liberal Bernard S. Meyer Sol Wachtler M. Henry Martuscello[8] 237,815

Obs.: Numbers are total votes on all tickets for candidates nominated on more than one ticket. Gabrielli received 2,886,036 Republican votes and 427,486 Conservative votes Meyer received 2,743,394 Democratic votes and 233,376 Liberal votes. Wachtler received 2,893,433 Republican votes and 303,330 Liberal votes Jones received 2,760,439 Republican votes and 409,697 Conservative votes. Cooke received 2,596,529 Democratic votes and 438,091 Conservative votes


  1. ^ State Democrats Name Three Men for Appeals Bench, With a Woman Running Fourth in NYT on April 4, 1972 (subscription required)
  2. ^ 2 Women in Race for Court of Appeals in NYT on April 15, 1972 (subscription required)
  3. ^ JUDGE DEMBITZ BESTS HER RIVALS in NYT on June 22, 1972 (subscription required)
  4. ^ G. O. P. CHOOSES 3 FOR APPEALS COURT; Nominates an All-Male Slate Despite Governor's Plea in NYT on April 4, 1972 (subscription required)
  5. ^ LIBERAL PARTY BACKS 3 FOR APPEALS COURT in NYT on April 4, 1972 (subscription required)
  6. ^ CONSERVATIVES BACK 3 COURT DESIGNEES in NYT on April 5, 1972 (subscription required)
  7. ^ Nanette Dembitz (1912-1989), Columbia University School of Law graduate, judge of the New York City Family Court 1967-82, second cousin of Louis Brandeis, Judge Nanette Dembitz, 76, Dies; Served in New York Family Court in NYT on April 5, 1989
  8. ^ Michael Henry Martuscello (1908-1980), of Brooklyn, M. Henry Martuscello, 72, Dies in NYT on November 11, 1980 (subscription required)


  • Official result: NIXON WON STATE BY 1,241,694 VOTES; Albany Tally Shows 79.5% of Those Registered Voted in NYT on December 12, 1972 (subscription required)

New York Red Book 1973

See also

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