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Candidates for the 5th Judicial District on the Campbell Conversations

In this week’s segment, the Campbell Conversations returns to the upcoming November elections, with a discussion among six of the nine candidates for State Supreme Court Justice in the six-county fifth judicial district—a district that encompasses much of WRVO’s listening area.  This program is presented on-air in two parts. Part one on Friday, and the second Saturday. The audio available here is the entire hour long discussion. 

  • The first half focuses on the peculiarly American practice of electing judges.  The rest of the world uses some kind of examination or appointment system.  Electing judges poses difficult challenges:  What kind of information about the candidates is readily available to voters?  Do the party labels tell voters anything that’s useful in sorting them out?  Why are candidates reluctant to say more about their own views and values?
  • In the second half of a discussion  the candidates react to a letter sent to them by Administrative Justice James Tormey, which raised concerns about the conduct of the campaigns.  They also discuss the party nomination system and the potentially problematic role of campaign contributions.

A list of participants and party designations [as of this writing the Independence Party designation has been invalidated]:

  • Tom Buckel – Democrat and Working Families
  • Erin Gall – Republican
  • Patrick MacRae – Democrat and Conservative
  • James McClusky – Republican and Conservative
  • David Magnarelli – Democrat and Working Families
  • Michael Young – Republican

 Not participating:

  • Prescott Klosner – Republican
  • Charles Merrell – Democrat and Conservative
  • John Stone – Conservative
Grant Reeher is Director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute and a professor of political science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He is also creator, host and program director of “The Campbell Conversations” on WRVO, a weekly regional public affairs program featuring extended in-depth interviews with regional and national writers, politicians, activists, public officials, and business professionals.