FONDA — Attorney Bethany Schumann-McGhee said after years of working in public service and politics in Albany and Fonda, she found the most rewarding work of her life in Montgomery County Family Court.
“I have served, for a number of years, representing children in family court,” Schumann-McGhee said. “Children, from the time they enter our system, are assigned an attorney to be their voice, from the beginning, and it’s such a different perspective, after practicing and representing moms and dads and extended family in Family Court to be able to channel that knowledge toward representing the voices of children.”
Schumann-McGhee — who formerly served as Amsterdam 3rd Ward Supervisor, Montgomery County Democratic chairwoman, a legislative assembly aide for Paul Tonko and as Fultonville village attorney — recently announced her candidacy for Montgomery County Family Court Judge.
Schumann-McGhee has operated a law firm in Amsterdam since 2010. She said she has the experience and temperament to be a good judge to fill the seat currently occupied by Family Court Judge Philip V. Cortese when he retires at the end of the year.
“Family Court plays a vital role for families throughout Montgomery County and the State of New York,” she said. “While most hope that they never find themselves in Family Court, when they do, they deserve a judge that is experienced in family law, who is compassionate and fair, a judge who believes that all families matter. I would be honored to serve the residents of Montgomery County as our county’s first female Family Court Judge.”
Schumann-McGhee grew up in Fonda, graduated from Fonda-Fultonville Central School District in 1991 and then went to college at the University of Chicago where she graduated in 1995 with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology.
Her political career in Montgomery County started off in 2003 when she upset incumbent Republican 3rd Ward Supervisor Ron Barone, after he had served four consecutive terms from 1999 until 2003 as chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
She earned her Juris Doctor from Albany Law School of Union University in 2005 while she was serving on the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors.
Schumann-McGhee now lives in Amsterdam with her husband Wesley McGhee, a lieutenant in the Schenectady Police Department, and their three children: Danielle, Victoria, and Thomas McGhee, who attend middle and elementary school in the Greater Amsterdam School District.
Schumann-McGhee also currently serves as the vice-Chair of the Fulton Montgomery Community College Board of Trustees, on the board of directors for both the Montgomery County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Fulton, Montgomery Schoharie Counties Private Industry Council.
Schumann-McGhee quit serving as a committee member for the Montgomery County Democratic Committee in 2019. She said she has not yet decided whether or not she will pursue any minor party lines, but she will pursue the Democratic Party line.