Vote tallies appeared favorable to two veteran judges and one political newcomer late Tuesday, but it was unclear who would be sent to the state Supreme Court for New York State’s 3rd Judicial District.
Incumbents Bernard J. Malone Jr. and E. Michael Kavanagh, both Republicans, and Democrat Richard Mott all held high vote tallies in various counties late Tuesday.
Both Malone and Kavanagh, elected to the Supreme Court back in 1998, were ranked as “highly qualified” by the state’s Independent Judicial Election Qualification Committee. Members of the 15-member committee are appointed by the chief judge, by presiding justices of the Appellate Division and by state and local bar associations.
Mott earned a ranking of “qualified” from the commission.
Supreme Court justices preside over the state’s primary trial courts. They hear criminal and civil cases, lawsuits seeking monetary damages over $25,000 and rule on cases where one party seeks to stop the action of another.
They also hold the sole authority over divorce, separations and annulments.
The state’s Third Judicial District covers Schoharie, Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster counties.
Supreme Court justices are elected to 14-year terms and face a mandatory retirement age of 70. They are allowed to seek extensions to serve up to six years of full-time service after age 70.
A U.S. Army veteran, Malone, 68, of Glenmont, served as an assistant district attorney in Albany and worked for 15 years as a federal prosecutor.
Kavanagh, 68, also an Army veteran, previously was an assistant district attorney in New York County and was the Ulster County district attorney. He was appointed to the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court, 1st Department, in 2006.
The race for the 14-year term drew three other candidates: Mott, Stephan Schick and Larry Weissmann.
Mott, 63, a Democrat from Kinderhook, Columbia County, runs a private law practice and has 30 years’ experience in state and federal court trials.
The other Democrat, Schick, 59, of Grahamsville, Sullivan County, went into private law practice in 1978 and served as the chief trial attorney for the Sullivan County Legal Aid Society from 1995 to 2004. He serves as director of the Sullivan Legal Aid Panel.
Working Families Party candidate Larry Weissmann, 50, previously served as an assistant public defender in Rockland County and as senior assistant district attorney in that county. He serves as “of counsel” to the New York State Police officers union.