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What you need to know for 01/23/2017

Pair wage primaries in Schenectady City Court race

Pair wage primaries in Schenectady City Court race

Two local attorneys, each with more than three decades of experience, are running for the newest Sch

Two local attorneys, each with more than three decades of experience, are running for the newest Schenectady City Court judgeship.

Attorneys Robert Hoffman and Kathryn McCary will be facing off twice, once in two contested minor party primaries Sept. 9 and then again in the general election in November.

Hoffman is running as a Democrat, McCary as a Republican. The two contested party lines are the Working Families and Green.

The two are running for a brand new judgeship created by the state Legislature in 2013. The winner will take office Jan. 1 for a 10-year term.

The contested race marks the first time in several cycles that a City Court judgeship has been contested in either a primary or the general election. In at least the last three City Court judge elections, the winner ran unopposed.

Both attorneys touted their qualifications for the job.

Hoffman, 62, graduated from Stetson University College of Law in Florida in 1977. He graduated locally from Bishop Gibbons High School. He’s practiced in Schenectady since 1979.

Much of that time he’s spent in general practice, working on cases in City Court that include code violations, traffic tickets, drunken driving and landlord-tenant matters.

“I think that my experience and my knowledge and my demeanor will serve the City Court bench well,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman also serves on the Schenectady County Legislature, representing District 1 since June 2011. He won a full term in November 2011. If he wins the judge race, he would have to resign from the Legislature.

McCary, 61, graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1981. She graduated locally from Niskayuna High School. She started her legal work in Schenectady the same year she graduated law school.

She’s focused on multiple areas, including landlord-tenant disputes and code violations. She’s also worked in labor and employment law, school law and business formation and advising and served as a hearing officer in school district employee discipline cases.

“I think it’s an area in which I could serve the public well and am well qualified for,” McCary said.

Schenectady currently has three City Court judge seats. Those are held by judges Mark Blanchfield, Guido Loyola and Matthew Sypniewski.

Sypniewski is seeking a higher bench himself this fall. He is facing Rotterdam Town Justice Kenneth Litz in November for a Schenectady County Court judgeship.

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