LIVINGSTON COUNTY — Local Attorney Kevin Van Allen has officially entered the political arena in a highly anticipated announcement for his run for Livingston County Judge.
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According to a press release from the Van Allen Campaign Office, Van Allen will seek Republican designation as a Republican candidate for Judge in the 2015 election. Incumbent Judges Robert Wiggins and Dennis Cohen have also asked Republican Committee members for their support as the they seek re-election.
“I firmly believe that I have the qualifications, expertise, and commitment to our community that voters seek when selecting a judge,” Van Allen said. “I feel that my fresh perspective is a direct product of my background of handling cases in courts throughout Western New York.”
With two Republicans currently sitting as judges, all eyes will be on the May Livingston County Republican Committee designation meeting. There, the committee will take a weighted vote, and the two winners get the party’s official endorsement. Traditionally, those that do not win at the committee level do not continue to campaign, but given the unpredictability of the last two major county elections, nothing is out of the question.
Van Allen comes into this race seasoned and prepared, having served as Advisor and Counsel to the successful Mary Strickland committee for Livingston County Clerk in 2014, and as Campaign Manager for Sheriff Thomas Dougherty’s victorious campaign for Livingston County Sheriff in 2013.
“I am excited and energized by this announcement,” he continued. “I am honored and humbled by the tremendous support I have already received, and I look forward to the coming campaign.”
What’s sure to be a focal point in the race is judicial experience as well as age, as the incumbent judges, if victorious, would age out before their term is complete. A County Court judicial term is 10 years. New York State Constitution mandates that judges must retire on the last day of December in the year in which he or she reaches the age of 70. Because of this law, neither Wiggins nor Cohen would be allowed to complete a full ten-year term if re-elected. If either are re-elected in 2015, a special election will be held in 2019, when both judges turn 70.
At this point, no Democratic candidates have entered the race for judge.
PHOTO CAPTION: Kevin Van Allen (Photo/vanallenforjudge.com)
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