The contest for state supreme court justice in the Third Judicial District pits Ulster Democrat Julian Schreibman against Albany County Republican Peter Crummey.
The match between a capital district Republican and a downstate Democrat is unusual in Third Judicial District elections, which are typically dominated by capital district Democrats.
Governed by a self-imposed Judicial Canon of Ethics, judicial contests are low-keyed affairs. Candidates cannot comment on any case that might come before them if elected and personal exchanges are not allowed.
Schreibman, 44, was a candidate for Congress in 2012 and is former Ulster Democratic chairman. Crummey, 62, has been town justice in the town of Colonie for 17 years.
Term of office is 14 years, with a mandatory retirement age of 70. Annual salary is $193,000.
Supreme court is the trial-level court of general jurisdiction. It has jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases, but mostly acts on civil matters such as divorce, contract disputes, election law and Article 78 challenges to government decisions.
The Third District encompasses Ulster, Greene, Schoharie and Sullivan counties, and Rensselaer and Albany counties in the capital district. Almost half the district’s 513,000 registered voters live in the capital district.
Overall, Democrats, according to the state board of elections, outnumber Republicans by some 82,000 registrants, about 43 percent of the district electorate. About 19 percent of those live in Ulster. Non-enrolled registrants total just over 149,000.
There are twelve trial judges in the district and three appellate judges. The latter are appointed by the governor.
Ulster currently has two sitting judges, Democrats Christopher Cahill and James Gilpatric. Karen Peters, an appellate judge, will retire in December. Judges can be certified for additional service up to age 76.
Schreibman is a graduate of Kingston High School, Yale University and Yale Law School. He is a former federal prosecutor and an assistant county district attorney. Crummey graduated from Shaker High School, Boston College and Albany Law School. He is a former minority leader of the Albany County Legislature.
Schreibman has been rated “well qualified” by the Albany County Bar Association. Crummey, a former president of the bar association, was rated “qualified.” A Third District judicial review committee rated both “qualified.” The Ulster County Bar Association did not rate the candidates.