The Central Trades and Labor Council, representing 24,000 AFL-CIO members in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, made a slate of endorsements at its meeting in Gouverneur last night.
Most interestingly, the labor group backed an Onondaga County candidate for Supreme Court justice.
Inside baseball alert!
The Fifth Judicial District includes six counties — Onondaga, Oneida, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego. Since the beginning of time, I'm told, residents of the smaller counties have been elected to seats, keeping state appeals courts in places like Lewis County.
But this year, three Onondaga County lawyers are throwing their hats in the ring — that's despite the fact that there's no open seat there.
So if the Onondaga County residents win the nomination — and the nomination is decided by a REALLY inside baseball game of delegates per Assembly district weighted by the vote for governor — Lewis County or Jefferson County might not have a state Supreme Court judge that resides in the district. Want to take your case to the state Supreme Court, Mr. Lewis County Resident? Take it to Onondaga County, buckaroo.
Naturally, this has the editorial department of the Watertown Daily Times very upset.
But one group that doesn't share the editorial page's concern: Central Trades and Labor Council.
The council endorsed Democrat Tom Buckel, an Onondaga County legislator, in the Fifth Judicial District race. It also endorsed Democrat Charles Merrell, the Lewis County judge, and Erin Gall, of Oneida County.
"We look at people, what their record has been," said Ron McDougal, the president of the council. Mr. Buckel has one, he said. "Labor goes beyond where court might or might not be held."
End of inside baseball (well, it continues, but it's not as difficult to explain)
Other endorsements were:
Fourth Judicial District (including St. Lawrence County)
Three endorsements for three open seats: John Lahtinen, the Republican incumbent of Plattsburgh; John Silvestri, a Democrat; and Ann Crowell, a Republican attorney of Saratoga County
Lewis County sheriff, Republican primary
The union endorsed Devere D. Rumble, an investigator, over his opponent, Michael P. Carpinelli, a part-time sheriff's deputy.
Lewis County treasurer
Randy Myers, Democrat, was endorsed. He's running against Republican Patricia L. O'Brien.
St. Lawrence County family court
The union endorsed Democrat Cecily Morris over her opponent, Republican Andrew Moses
St. Lawrence County clerk
The union endorsed incumbent Democrat Gavin Regan over his opponent, Mary Lou Rupp.