As far as elections go, this one might have been over before it started.
John McNesby was re-elected as president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 Tuesday by what can only be described as a staggering margin.
"We had 4,498 votes," he said Tuesday night, "and he had 428 votes."
The "he" in question is Frank Zampogna, 52, a veteran cop who also ran unsuccessfully against McNesby in 2007.
"I lost, they won," Zampogna said matter-of-factly during a brief phone interview.
The story might not end there, however.
Zampogna said he filed "several lawsuits" before the election, contesting the eventual result for a variety of reasons, including claims that McNesby denied him access to a union mailing list, and that Law Enforcement Health Benefits Inc., the organization that administers the union's health benefits, broke the law by endorsing McNesby last month.
An LEHB administrator said in a letter on its website that the organization was entitled to support McNesby.
"Nobody believed his nonsense and mudslinging," said McNesby, 44. "I feel good. We ran a good, clean campaign, and showed that the cops out there support us."
The FOP represents more than 6,600 active-duty cops, and more than 7,000 retirees. An arbitrator awarded the union a 5-year contract in 2009 that included a 7 percent raise and abolished the residency requirement that had forced cops to live in the city.