Tuesday Oswego County Voters Will Be The Judge

OSWEGO, NY – Voters will seat two positions in Oswego County at the end of the day tomorrow (Nov. 4), one is unopposed and the other is a hot race with an age twist.

Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd is running unopposed under the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines for another four-year term as the county’s top cop.

Meanwhile, the county’s newly created Family Court Judge seat – one of 25 across the state, has two successful and popular local attorneys matched head-to-head.

James Eby is the Republican’s choice; Lou Anne Rucynski Coleman is the Democrat’s choice.

In an Oswego County Today letter-to-the-editor Rucynski Coleman wrote, “I am running because I care about children. I will make sure that the decisions made in Family Court are fair and impartial, and, most importantly, in our children’s best interests. I have spent more than a decade representing children and families in Family Court, and I am the only candidate who can serve the full 10-year term.”

In a letter posted on his Facebook page, Eby wrote, “I decided to run for this position after a 38-year career representing thousands of people in this community, 35 years of which have been on appointment to the family court by the county Legislature, where I have represented the county and school districts, as well as numerous individuals. I decided to run because I believe those years of experience have prepared me for the serious responsibility of adjudicating the very difficult cases which routinely appear in family court — experience which I do not believe can be matched by any other candidate.”

With respect to Rucynski Coleman’s statement about serving the full 10-year term, the matter revolves around the concept of the requirement to “age out” of the elected office at retirement age.

According to state law, Oswego County family court judges are elected to 10-year terms, but must retire at the end of the calendar year when they reach age 70. http://www.oswegocountygovernments.com/pages/ny_court.html

In response, Eby, in his mid 60s, wrote, “Full term or not, I believe that five years is a goodly period of time for any elected position, during which it will be my goal to protect those who need protection, establish a good working relationship with school districts, service providers and probation officers to ensure efficient delivery of services and supervision and establish a proper balance of individual rights and individual responsibilities.”

The Oswego County Bar Association has indicated the two are each “recommended as qualified.”

Rucynski Coleman was the Democrat’s choice from the beginning of the race and she is also running on the Working Families Party line.

Prior to the September Republican primary, Thomas Benedetto, Edward Izyk, Eby, Salvatore Lanza and Eben Norfleet each tossed their hat into the ring.

Benedetto dropped out of contention, opting instead for a shot at supreme court judge.

Eby emerged victorious from the Republican primary and is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines.

Kimberly Seager is currently seated as the only Oswego County Family Court judge. She has served in this position since 2009 following her election. Her current term expires in 2018.

The winner of tomorrow’s election will serve alongside Seager.