Fulton County

Attorney Smrtic to seek Fulton County judge post

Mike Smrtic, a Gloversville attorney, said Wednesday he will seek the Republican nomination for Fult

Mike Smrtic, a Gloversville attorney, said Wednesday he will seek the Republican nomination for Fulton County Court judge, a position left vacant by former County Court Judge Richard Giardino.

Smrtic is the first candidate to officially announce intentions to fill the seat.

Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira said last month that she also has plans to enter the race but can’t formally announce her candidacy until Monday because of restrictions imposed by her current position.

Smritc says his experience in handling various types of court cases in his private practice for more than 20 years makes him the right person for the job.

“The county judge handles everything and has to be able to do everything for the county,” said Smrtic, the son of longtime Fulton County Clerk William Smrtic. “I think I am ready to do that.”

When he heard that Giardino was stepping down, Smrtic said he felt it was the right time to pursue the position.

“I discussed the position with my wife and I just thought it was the right time,” he said.

Giardino, who stepped down as county judge Jan. 2, is seeking the Republican nomination for Fulton County Sheriff. Longtime incumbent Tom Lorey has said he will not seek re-election. His term expires Dec. 31.

Smrtic added he has received positive feedback from members of the community, which he says bodes well for his campaign.

“People in the community have come up to me and said you’re the right man for the job, and I believe that I am,” he said.

Smrtic said that Sira has done a “fantastic job” as county district attorney but noted her lack of experience practicing law privately could hurt her.

“Don’t get me wrong, she has done a remarkable job and we have a great working relationship,” he said. “But I have over 20 years’ experience doing everything that needs to be done on this job.”

Smrtic has served as an assistant public defender for Fulton County for nearly two decades. He has also worked as assistant county attorney for more than 10 years, prosecuting juveniles in Family Court, and he currently serves as the Bleecker town attorney. He has practiced in all levels of state court and in federal court in the Northern District of New York.

Smrtic earned his juris doctor from Vermont Law School in 1992, graduating cum laude with honors. He earned a bachelor of arts degree at Hope College. He also holds an associate’s degree from Fulton Montgomery Community College.

Smrtic is a Gloversville High School graduate and now lives with his wife, Noelle, in Johnstown with their three children, Emily, Madison and Carly.

A news release announcing his decision says Smrtic is an active community member, having served on the board of the YMCA and currently serving on the board for Fulmont Mutual Insurance Co.

Categories: Schenectady County

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