Riccardi gets nod for Family Court; Teachout wins big, in Ulster at least

Gilda Riccardi. (Hugh Reynolds)

Gilda Riccardi. (Hugh Reynolds)

With all 79 Ulster County polling places reporting, Family Court attorney Gilda Riccardi of Saugerties scored a decisive victory Tuesday, September 9 over two challengers in the Democratic primary for a new Family Court judgeship.

Unofficial returns, which don’t include absentee ballots, show Riccardi with 2,713 votes (45.8 percent), compared to 2,074 for Kingston attorney Kevin Bryant (35.2 percent). Family Court support magistrate John Beisel trailed with 1,115 (18.8 percent).

“I was the financial underdog, but I always felt I was the best one for this job,” Riccardi said Tuesday night at a victory party from her home on Malden-on-Hudson. She credited a small cadre of friends and supporters, mostly from Saugerties, “who believed in me, who stood by me. I believed in me, too. I hope I can go the distance.”


Riccardi said she worked in Family Court on primary day, as usual, but planned to take Wednesday off. “I’ll be back with my judge [Tony McGinty] on Thursday,” she said. “It’s a very busy place.”

Riccardi will face Republican candidate Keri Savona of Kingston in the Nov. 4 general election. Savona won the Independence line by 2-1 over Bryant at primary and will also appear on the Conservative Party line. Bryant will appear on the Working Families line in November.

In the race for the Democratic nomination for governor, Zephyr Teachout outpolled incumbent Andrew Cuomo with almost 70 percent of the vote in Ulster. Tim Wu, her running mate for lieutenant governor, beat Cuomo running mate Kathy Hochul by a similar margin in Ulster. Both challengers were losing the state by about 60-40.

Turnout among the county’s 37,400 Democrats was about 16 percent, average for party primaries.

Riccardi, 60, has been court attorney to family judge Anthony McGinty for the past nine years. She was the Democratic candidate for county clerk in 2012. She attended SUNY New Paltz and graduated from New York Law School.

Beisel, 48, has been family court magistrate for the past 16 years. A native of Port Ewen, he practiced in Family Court as a private attorney before being appointed to his present post. He is a graduate of Boston College and Syracuse University’s school of law.

Bryant, 45, has been a prosecuting attorney and a public defender for most of his 20-year career. He is a Kingston native, graduating from Kingston High School and Albany Law School.

Savona, 38, of Kingston, has been a senior attorney at the Department of Social Services for five years. Her duties include supervision of DSS cases in family court. She is a graduate of Villanova Law School.

The term of office is 10 years, beginning on Jan. 1, at an annual salary of $161,000.

There is one comment

  1. edie gaines

    Excellent news.

    Congratulations to Gilda and the children and families of Ulster County. She is 1 step closer to becoming your next Ulster County Family Court Judge. Who better to hold this prestigious position than Gilda Riccardi. Reasons, see below:

    Gilda Riccardi is an experienced Family Law attorney. She is an outstanding candidate for the newly- created Family Court Judge position in Ulster County. There are currently 2 Family Court Judges, Judge Mizel & Judge McGinty. The heavy case load and court backup prompted Gov. Coumo into creating this 3rd position.

    Gilda has been an attorney for 26 years: 14 years practicing law in Ulster County Family Court with the most recent 9 of those years as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Anthony McGinty in Ulster County Family Court.

    Prior to her appointment as Law Clerk, Gilda had a private practice in Ulster County (5 years) specializing in the representation of children and litigants in Family Court in all areas including abuse/neglect, custody/visitation, juvenile delinquency, persons in need of supervision (PINS), paternity and family offense proceedings. She also has an extensive criminal law background, and was a former Manhattan prosecutor specializing in child abuse and felony narcotics cases.

    As the personal appointee (Law Clerk) of Family Court Judge Anthony McGinty (9 years). She is responsible for researching and analyzing complex legal issues in areas of family, juvenile, criminal, and civil law; confer with and advise Judge on current law and case-law precedents; draft judicial opinions, decisions and orders; write confidential legal memoranda; conduct pre-trial settlement conferences.

    Former administrative law judge
    Former Manhattan child abuse prosecutor

    In addition, Gilda is a registered nurse, and practiced as an RN for ten years prior to attending law school. Her medical knowledge is helpful in the abuse/neglect cases brought in Family Court, in addition to understanding issues of substance abuse and mental illness also at times before the Court.

    Gilda has been appointed to the Family Court Judges Curriculum Committee, the Third Department Appellate Division Committee on Character and Fitness, and is the immediate Past-President of the Ulster County Bar Association.

    She is the most qualified of the candidates seeking the position.Your vote is your voice and it counts! The children and families of Ulster County are depending on you.

    Do you need to register for the Nov. elections?

    Voter Registration forms must be Post Marked no later than October 10, 2014 and received at the BOE by October 15, 2014. Check the NY State Official Political Calendar – See more at: http://www.ulstercountyny.gov/elections/registration#sthash.cZ9lE7Rq.dpuf

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