Fulton County Judge Polly Hoye announced Thursday that she will seek another 10-year term as judge in the fall election.
Hoye, a former Fulton County district attorney, was first elected judge in 2001 and has served as county judge and surrogate court judge since 2002.
Thursday she explained her continued passion for the job.
“I have been enjoying doing the work as the county judge and surrogate for the past 10 years. It is a fascinating line of work and I like to think that some of the decisions that I make in some cases are important and help people,” she said. “I just feel that sometimes the decisions that a judge makes are important in people’s lives. People wait for their day in court to have an important matter to them resolved by a judge. That’s something I take seriously.”
Hoye has served as an acting county supreme court justice since 2004 and has been the presiding judge of Fulton County’s Integrated Domestic Violence Court since it was created in 2005. She also serves as president-elect of the New York State Surrogates Association.
Judicial races differ from most elections in that few, if any, issues are up for debate. Candidates don’t discuss past cases or their opinions of laws. Incumbent judges are also expected to avoid political activities during their term, only to return to politics when they run for re-election.
“I try, and I’m sure other judicial candidates do as well, to remind people that when I’m out there announcing and campaigning that the reason they haven’t seen me at political functions for the past 10 years is that as a judge you’re not allowed to get involved in politics. The idea is a judge could be influenced improperly by political favors. That’s the justification for the rule,” she said. “It’s important, though, that people know that you’re not just out there now because you need their help and you didn’t care about them for the last nine years.”
When Hoye first ran for judge in 2001 she was part of the most expensive and one of the most hotly contested Republican primary battles in Fulton County history. That year Arthur C. “Skip” Spring spent $55,879 in bid for county judge, Hoye spent $48,536 and Edward F. Skoda, who fished second in the race to Hoye by 48 votes, spent $38,212. Up until then no candidate had ever spent more than $30,000 seeking office in Fulton County.
Since then Skoda has been elected Fulton County Family Court judge. Spring is county attorney for Fulton County.
Hoye said she doesn’t know if she will have a primary or general election opponent. She said if she does she may do some fund raising, but as of now she has no plans to do so.
“I’d like to fund my own campaign,” she said.
Fulton County Democratic Committee Chairman Edward Jasewicz said it’s his intention to find a candidate to challenge Hoye.
“We’re in the process of recruiting candidates to run for all of the offices,” he said.