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Tue., Oct. 6
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P-S on judge races: 'Geography shouldn't matter'


The Post-Standard of Syracuse endorsed candidates for state Supreme Court, and ignored geography in doing so.
But here's what's really interesting: They ignored geography, but the north country wasn't totally cut out!
The background (and this is very inside baseball, so avert your eyes if you're not into that sort of stuff): A so-called gentleman's agreement among the counties that make up the Fifth Judicial District has kept judges who are residents of each county sitting on the bench.
But a few Onondaga County residents entered the race — that's despite the fact that the four empty seats were once represented by judges from the smaller counties (Jefferson, Lewis, Herkimer and Oneida). So if those Onondaga County-ers get elected, that could mean that nobody from Jefferson and/or Lewis counties will be a state Supreme Court justice. Dearth of lawyers, longer trips to hearings, etc. etc. etc.
Now, back to The Post-Standard. The paper's editorial board endorsed two Lewis County candidates, an Oneida County candidate and an Onondaga County candidate — based on "qualifications, experience, public service and temperament," and not geography. (In order, that's Democrat Charles Merrell and Republican Michael Young of Lewis County, Democrat Patrick MacRae of Oneida County, and Conservative John Stone of Onondaga County.)
"f two justices end up sitting in Lowville, we'll see if there's such a thing as too much home rule," the editorial board concludes.
Something tells me that the Watertown Daily Times' editorial board won't be of the same opinion. Those fellas care deeply about preserving local state Supreme Court justices — and if one follows The Post-Standard's endorsements, Jefferson County will be without one.
City judge
The Watertown Times endorsed Republican Eugene Renzi for Watertown city judge over Democrat Keith Caughlin, saying: "Judicial races by nature are low-key since candidates cannot talk about issues, leaving voters to consider their record and experience, which earn Judge Renzi the Times' endorsement."

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